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Brief H istory 

Ancient, Medieval, 


Modern Peoples, 

/3. c^. 


A. S 




STATES, for the use of Schools. i2mo. Illustrated. 

the use of Schools and for private reading. i2ino. Illustrated. 

PEOPLES, for the use of Schools and for private read- 
ing. i2mo. Illustrated. 

AND MODERN PEOPLES, for the use of Schools 
and for private reading, izmo. Illustrated. 

PEOPLES. Bound in one volume, i2mo. Illustrated, 

the use of Schools and for private reading. i2mo. Illustrated. 

In preparation. 

UNITED STATES, for private reading, and for 
reference in Schools and P'amilies. Royal Bvo. Beautifully 
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,*#* Circulars and Descriptive Catalogue and any information con- 
cerning our publications., will be sent to any address on application. 

Copyright, 1883, by A. S. Barnes bf Co. 

THE plan of the Barnes's Brief History Series has been 
thoroughly tested in the books already issued — United 
States, and France — and their extended use and approval are 
evidence of its general excellence. In this work, the political 
history, which occupies most, if not all, of the ordinary 
school-text, is condensed to the salient and essential facts, in 
order to give room for some account of the literature, religion, 
architecture, character, and habits of the different nations. 
Surely, it is as important to know something about Plato as all 
about Caesar; to learn how the ancients wrote their books 
as how they fought their battles ; and to study the virtues of 
the old Germans and the dawn of our own customs in English 
home-life, as to trace the petty squabbles of Alexander's suc- 
cessors or the intricacies of the Wars of the Roses. 

The Chapters on Manners and Customs and the Scenes in 
♦Real Life represent the people of history as men and women 
subject to the same wants, hopes, and fears as ourselves, and 
so bring the distant past near to us. The Scenes, which are 
intended only for reading, are the result of a careful study of 
the unequaled collections of monuments in the London, Paris, 
and Berlin Museums, of the ruins in Rome and Pompeii, and 
of the latest authorities on the domestic life of the peoples. 
of other lands and times. Though intentionally written in a 

88731 3 


semi-romantic style, they are accurate pictures of what might 
have occurred, and some of them are simple transcriptions of 
the details sculptured in Assyrian alabaster, or painted on 
Egyptian walls. 

The general divisions on Civilization and Manners and 
Customs were prepared by Mrs. J. Dorman Steele. Her 
enthusiasm in historic research, to which she has devoted the 
best years of her life, has given to these subjects the charm of 
romance and the accuracy of fact. 

It should be borne in mind that the extracts here made 
from the Sacred Books of the East are not specimens of their 
style and teachings, but only gems selected from a mass of 
matter, much of which is absurd, meaningless, and even re- 
volting. It has not seemed best to cumber a book like this 
with selections conveying no moral lesson. 

The numerous cross-references, the abundant dates in 
parentheses, the Black-board Analyses, the pronunciation of 
the names in the Index, the Genealogical Tables, the choice 
Reading References at the close of each general subject, and 
the novel Historical Recreations in the Appendix, will be of 
service to both teacher and pupil. An acknowledgment of 
indebtedness in the preparation of this history is hereby made 
to the works named in the Reading References. 

It is hoped that a large class of persons who desire to know 
something about the progress of historic criticism, as well as. 
the recent discoveries made among the resurrected monuments 
of the East, but who have no leisure to read the ponderous 
volumes of Brugsch, Layard, Grote, Mommsen, Rawlinson. 
Ihne, Lanfrey, Froude, Martin, and others, will find this little 
book just what they need. 




1. Introduction 9 

2. Egypt 15 

3. Babylonia and Assyria 45 

4. Phoenicia 73 

5. JUDEA 80 

6. Media and Persia 88 

7. India. 105 

8. China 109 

9. Greece 113 

I o. Rome , 203 


1. Introduction 315 

2. Rise of the Saracens 326 

3. Rise of the Prankish Kingdom. 33 1 

4. Rise of Modern Nations. 337 

1. England 337 

2. France 354 

3. Germany 373 

4. Switzerland 387 

5. Italy in the Middle Ages 390 

6. The Crusades 397 

7. The Moors in Spain 404 

8. Asia in the Middle Ages 405 

9. Medieval Civilization 408 




1. Introduction 423 

2. The Sixteenth Century . 430 

1. The French in Italy 430 

2. The Age of Charles V . 433 

3. The Rise of the Dutch Republic 445 

4. Civil-Religious Wars of France 450 

5. England under the Tudoks 455 

6. The Civilization 467 

3. The Seventeenth Century. 480 

1. The Thirty- Years War 480 

2. France in the Seventeenth Century 486 

3. England under the Stuarts 494 

4. The Civilization 513 

4. The Eighteenth Century 520 

1. Peter the Great and Charles XII 520 

2. Rise of Prussia: Age of Frederick the Great. . 526 

3. England under the House of Hanover 532 

4. The French Revolution 536 

5. The Civilization 553 

5. The Nineteenth Century 559 

1. France : 559 

2. England *. 583 

3. Germany 588 

4. Italy 592 

5. Turkey 596 

6. Greece 597 

7. The Netherlands 598 

8. Japan 598 


1. Seven Wonders and Seven Wise Men i 

2. Historical Recreations ii 

3. Index xxv 

1. Frontispiece. page 

2. The Great Hall of Karnak 9 

3. Scenes on the Nile, etc , 14 

4. An Egyptian Prophet 20 

5. Egyptian War Chariot 21 

6. Name of Egypt in Hieroglyphics , 22 

7. Specimens of Picture Writing 23 

8. The Papyrus Reed 24 

9. Queen aiding King in TEarPLB Service 26 

10. Son of Rameses HI 27 

11. Egyptian Easy Chair , 28 

12. Egyptian Couch, Pillow, and Steps , 29 

13. Egyptian Musicians 29 

14. Bronze Figure of the God Apis. 31 

15. A Mummy in Bands. . . o 33 

16. Egyptian Sarcophagus 33 

17. Woman Embracing the Mummy of her Husband 34 

18. The Funeral of a Mummy 35 

19. A Modern Shadoof 36 

20. Egyptian Obelisk 40 

21. Assyrian Heads (from Nimroud) 47 

23. Babylonian Woman and Men 50 

23. Cuneiform Writing prom a Cylinder ^ 52 

24. Assyrian Clay Tablet. 53 

25. A Terra-cotta Cylinder 54 

26. Babylonian Brick 56 

27. Black Obelisk from Nimroud 57 

28. Assyrian Emblems 61 

29. Assyrian Lamps 63 

30. The Signet Cylinder OF King Uruch 64 

31. A Cylinder Seal 65 

32. An Assyrian Palace (restored) , , 66 

33. Colossal Wenged-Bull 67 

34. A Royal Lion Hunt ., 68 

35. Assyrian King and Attendants. ,. 70 

36. Court-yard of Oriental House . . 71 

37. The Site of Ancient Babylon 73 

38. The Ruins of Ancient Tyre 75 

39. The City op Sidon 78 



40. A Phoenician Galley 79 

41. The Tombs of the Judges ,.., , 8;^ 

42. Sandal and Ancient Book , 85 

43. Hebbew Priest Offeking Incense 86 

44. Jewish Shekel , ... ... 86 

45. Ancient Key 87 

46. Jerusalem, in Time of Christ 87 

47. Bas-relief of Cyrus the Great 89 

48. Crcesus on the Funeral Pyre 90 

49. Persian Subjects bre^ging Tribute to the King 95 

50. Tomb of Cyrus the Great 96 

51. Great Staircase at Pebsepolis 96 

52. Symbol of Ormazd 98 

53. A Persian m Ordinary Costume , 100 

54. Ancient Persian Silver Com , 100 

55. Persian Foot-soldieks 103 

56. The Rums of Persbpolis 104 

57. Buddhist Priests 107 

58. A BRAHMm AT Prayer 108 

59. The Great Wall op China 110 

60. Traditional Likeness of Confucius.. , Ill 

61. A Chinese Temple 112 

62. Departure of Achilles ,. „ 116 

63. Prow of an Early Greek Ship. , 116 

64. A Com OF Athens 121 

65. The Tablets of Solon 122 

66. View of the Plains of Marathon 127 

67. Portrait of Meltiades 127 

68. Leonidas at the Pass of Thermopyl^ 131 

69. Portrait of Leonidas 131 

70 A Scene m Athens in the Time of Pericles — 138 

71. Portrait of Philip of Macedon. 149 

72. A Tetradrachm of Alexander the Great 150 

73. Greek Galley with Three Banks of Oars 158 

74. Grecian Peasant , . 160 

75. Portrait of Homer 162 

76. .ffiscHYLUs, Sophocles, and Euripides 166 

77. Herodotus, Thucydides, and Xenophon 171 

78. Portrait of Demosthenes 173 

79. A Greek WRiTmG Tablet 178 

80. A Grecian Youth 179 

81. The Parthenon, East End 180 

82. The Orders of Grecian Architecture 182 

83. Presenting Offerings at the Temple of Delphi 185 

84. GRECLA.N Female Heads . . — 189 

85. Grecian Warriors and Attendant 191 

86. Grecian Ladies and Attendant. 195 

87. An Ancient Brazier 196 

88. A Greek Symposium — • 198 

89. Bas-relief of the NmE Muses 202 

90. The Roman Wolf Statue 205 

91. The Tarpeian Rock 206 

92. The Temple of Janus 207 

93. Roman Fasces .. 208 



94. Roman Plebeians op the Eablt Period 215 

95. Cincinnatus Receiting the Dictatorship 220 

96. Hannibal Crossing the Alps , 231 

97. Portrait of Hannibal , 231 

98. Group of Roman Soldiers 240 

99. Portrait op Caius Julius C^sar , 248 

100. The Roman Imperial Emblem — 251 

101. Com OF Tiberius C^sar 258 

102. Coin op Nero 260 

103. Attila, the Hun ,,. 268 

104. Roman Consul and Lictors , 270 

105. The Siege op a City ,272 

106. Portraits op Cicero, Virgil, Horace, and Sallust — 276 

107. Interior op a Roman Library 279 

108. The Roman Toga 281 

109. Bridge op St. Angelo and Hadrian's Tomb 283 

110. Ruins op the Colosseum 285 

111. A Roman Augur 288 

112. A Gladiatorial Combat 291 

113. Dressing a Roman Bride , 293 

114. Rome in the Time op Augustus Csisar * 297 

115. A Roman Lamp 302 

116. Interior of the House op Pansa 304 

117. F*lan of the House op Pansa — 806 

118. Roman Tombs along the Appian Way 312 

119. View in Constantinople 313 

120. In Sight of Rome 315 

121. The Papal Insignia 321 

122. Elevating on the Shield 324 

123. Group of Ancient Arms 326 

124. Charles Maktel at the Battle of Tours 329 

125. Charlemagne Crowned 334 

126. Portrait op Charlemagne 335 

127. Portrait op William the Conqueror 341 

128. The Scriptorium op a Monastery. (A Monk Illuminating a MS.) 349 

129. House of a Nobleman (Twelfth Century) 350 

130. Eari.y English Bench or Bed 350 

131. A Dinner Party 351 

1.32. Primitive Method op Cooking (Fourteenth Century) 352 

133. Preparing a Candidate por Knighthood 353 

134. Norman Ship (from the Bayeux Tapestry) 354 

1.35. Portrait op Philip Augustus 358 

136. Soldier op the Fourteenth Century 359 

137. A Knight Templar 360 

138. King John and his Son at Poitiers 362 

1-39. English Long-bow Men 363 

140. Prince Edward's Tomb at Canterbury 365 

141. Portrait op Jeanne Darc 368 

142. Early Inhabitants of France 371 

143. Paris in the Middle Ages 372 

144. Robber Knights in Ambush 382 

145. Scenes in Venice 393 

146. The Arch op Titus 398 

147. Crusaders on the March 397 



148. The Tomb of Godfrey db Bouillon \ 398 

149. Badge of the Templars 399 

150. St. Louis landing in Egypt 402 

151. Mohammedan Emblems 407 

152. Serfs of the Twelfth Century. (From MS. of the time.) 408 

153. Medieval Castle 410 

154. Costumes op Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries 411 

155. The Stylus, two forms (Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries) . . . 414 

156. Fac-simile of French Writing of the Fifteenth Century 415 

157. Male Costume (Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries) 416 

158. Female " " " " 416 

159. A Movable Iron Cage (Fifteenth Century) 416 

160. Gold Florin (Louis IX.) 420 

161. Globe illustrating the Geographical Knowledge of the Fifteenth 

Century : 423 

162. The Invention of Printing 425 

163. A Ship of the Fifteenth Century 427 

164. Tomb of Columbus at Havana 439 

165. Portrait of Francis I. (After Titian.) 432 

166. Field of the Cloth of Gold 434 

167. Luther before the Diet of Worms 440 

168. Sacking a Cathedral 445 

169. Portrait of Catharine de' Medici 450 

170. " Admiral Coligny 451 

171. '• Henry of Guise 452 

172. '• Sully 454 

173. " Henry VIII., and Cardinal Wolsey 457 

174. The Chained Bible (Sixteenth Century) 459 

175. Portraits of Queen Elizabeth, and Mary Queen of Scots 462 

176. Portrait of Philip II. of Spain ? 464 

177. Tomb of Queen Elizabeth 466 

178. The Glory of the Elizabethan Age 468 

179. A Group of Courtiers in the Time of Elizabeth '. 470 

180. Shakspere's Globe Theatre 472 

181. The Rack (A Mode of Punishment in the Sixteenth Century) 473 

182. London Watchmen (Sixteenth Century) 474 

183. Bringing in the Yule Log at Christmas 479 

184. Before the Battle of Lutzen 484 

185. Portrait of Louis XITI 486 

186. " Cardinal Richelieu 487 

187. " Cardinal Mazarin 488 

188. " Colbert 489 

189. " TURENNE 491 

190. Guy Fawkes and his Companions 496 

191. Charles I. and his Armor-bearer 498 

192. Cromwell Dissolving the Long Parliament 500 

193 Execution of Charles I 502 

194. Medal of Oliver Cromwell 505 

195. Titus Gates in the Pillory 509 

196. Portraits of Dryden. Milton, and Bunyan 514 

197. Signature of Louis XIV 515 

198. Court of Louis XIV. 516 

199. The Palace of the Luxemburg 519 

200. Portrait of Ivan the Terrible 521 



201. Peter the Great studying Ship BUiLDrNG 522 

202. Frederick the Great reviewing nis Grenadiers at Potsdam 528 

A Portrait of Makia Thi-I-ks-a . • 528 

203. Portrait of Georgk TIT 535 

204. Fac-simile of Law's Paper Money — 536 

205. Portraits of Louis XVL, Marie Antoinette, and the Dauphin 537 

206. Portrait of Turgot 537 

207. " Neckek 538 

208. French Fagot-vender (Eighteenth Century) 539 

209. Female Head-dkess (Eighteenth Century). 539 

210. The Bastile 540 

211. Scene in Paris after the Storming of the Bastile 541 

212. Girondists on the Way to Execution 544 

213. Portrait of Robespierre 545 

214. Costumes of the Three Orders 546 

215. Fac-simile of the Signature of Napoleon Buonaparte 546 

216. Portrait of Napoleon Buonaparte 547 

217. Buonaparte at the Bridge of Arcole 549 

218. The Pyramids of Egypt 551 

219. Buonaparte before the Council of Five Hundred 552 

220. Portraits of Alexander Pope, Steele, Addison, Sfift, and De Fob. . 554 

221. Temple of Glory (The Madeleine) 501 

222. Portrait of the Empress Josephine 562 

223. Napoleon and Josephine at St. Cloud 564 

224. The Battle of Wagram 567 

225. Cossacks harassing the Retreating Army 569 

226. Napoleon parting with the Old Guard at Fontainebleau 571 

227. Tomb of Napoleon at St. Helena 574 

228. Column of July 575 

229. Lancers Clearing the Boulevards at Paris 576 

230. Proclamation of the Republic 577 

231. Street Placards announcing the Coup d'etat 579 

232. Execution of a Female Communist in Paris 581 

233. Barricading the Streets of Paris 582 

234. The Royal Palace at Berlin 589 

235. Portrait of Count Bismarck 590 

236. " William, King of Prussia 59l 

237. " Garibaldi 593 

238. " Victor Emmanuel 594 

239. The French Armt occupying the Castle of St. Angelo 595 

240. The Four Classe-j of Japanese Society— Military, Agricultural, 

Laboring, and Mercantile 600 

Xll MAPS. 


Map OF Early Races AND Nations jl 

Map of Ancient Egypt -.^ 

Map of the Assyrian and Persian Empires 45 

Map of Phcenicia and Judea in Solomon's Time 74 

Map of Canaan and the Wilderness gj 

Map OF Greece AND HER Colonies jl3 

Map of Hellas in the Heroic Age Ug 

Map of Greece in the Time of the Persian Wars 125 

Map of the Plain op Marathon 126 

Map of the Vicinity of Thermopyl^ 130 

Map of the Vicinity of Athens and Salamis 135 

Map illustrating the Peloponnesian War 142 

Map of the Empire of Alexander 153 

Map of the Roman Empire and its Provinces 203 

Map of the Eary Tribes and Cities of the Italian Peninsula. 210 

Map illustrating the Punic Wars 228 

Map of the Divisions of Italia to the Time of Augustus 255 

Map OB Plan of Ancient Rome 299 

Map of the Nations of Western Europe (Fifth Century) 317 

Map of the Empire of the Caliphs (Eighth Century) 327 

Map of the Empire of Charlemagne " 333 

Map of the Four Conquests of England 338 

Map of Prance in the Time of Hugh Capet 357 

Map of Burgundy under Charles the Bold 370 

Map of the German Empire under the Hohenstaufens, including Naples 

AND Sicily 378 

Map of Syria in the Time of the Crusades 401 

Map of the Iberian Peninsula in the Fifteenth Century 404 

Map illustrating the Great Voyages of Discovery 426 

Map of Italy from the Fifteenth Century 431 

Map of the Wars in France, the Netherlands, and Civil War in 

England 447 

Map of Central Europe. (The Thirty-Years and Seven- Years Wars.).. 481 

Map of Eastern Europe (Seventeenth Century).. 495 

Map of Modern Nations of Europe, Western Asia, and Africa. . 532 

Map of Napoleon's Wars 560 

Ancient Peoples 


1. Egyp- 




8. Manners 
AND Customs. 

Old Empire. 
Middle Empire. 
New Empire. 

1. Society. 

2. Writing. 


Military Class. 

Lower Classes. 



I Book of the Dead. 

3. Literature. < Phtahhotep's Book. 

( Miscellaneous Books. 

4. Education. 

5. Monuments and Art. 

6. Practical Arts and Inventions. 

1. General Character. 

2. Religion. 

3. Embalming. 

4. Burial. 

Scenes in 
Real Life. 

4. Summary. 

5. Chbonoloqy. 

6. Reading References. 
1. Orisrin 

1. Pyramid Building. 

2. A Lord of the IVth Dynasty. 

3. Amenemhe Jlld. 

4. A Theban Dinner Party. 

2. Babylo- 
nians and 


2. dVILIZA- 


3. Manners 
AND Customs 

1. Political History, 

2. Civilization. 
1. Political History. 
2 Civilization. 

Political History. 
Manners and Customs. 
Political History. 
2 Civilization. 

1. Political History. 

2. Civilization. 


Names of Kings. 
Names of Kings. 

2. Writing, 

3. Literature. 

4. Monuments and Art. 

5 Practical Arts and Inventions. 

1. General Character. 

2. Religion. 
Curious Customs. 

1. A Chaldean Home. 
2 A Morning in Nineveh. 

3. A Royal Lion Hunt. 

4. Asshurbanipal going to War. 

3. Curious Custoi 

14, Scenes m J 
Real Life. 1 

[The subdivisions of these 
general topics may be filled in 
from the titles of the paragraphs 
in the text, as the student pro- 


S.Grecians, - 

19. Re 

Geographical and Early History 



Persian Wars. 

Age of Pericles. 

Peloponnesian War. 

Laced semon and Theban Rule, 


Alexander's Successors. 

2. Civilization. 

3. Manners and Customs. 

1. Political History. 

2. Civilization. 

3. Manners and Customs. 


the central point in history. 

History is a record of 
what man has done. It 
treats of the rise and 
growth of the different 
nations which have ex- 
isted, of the deeds of their 
great men, the manners 
and customs of their peo- 
ples, and the part each 
nation has taken in the 
progress of the world. 

Dates are reckoned 
from the birth of Christ, 
Time before that event is 


denoted as B.C.; time after^- A. :B:/(i4/«^ Domini, in the 
year of our Lorc^).**^ ; , ' ;' \ « *; .: ^ ^ ^ 

Three Divisions.— History is distinguished as Ancient, 
Mediaeval, and Modern. Ancient history extends from the 
earliest time to the fall of the Roman Empire (476 A. D.) ; 
Mediaeval, or the history of the Middle ages, covers about 
a thousand years, or to the close of the 15th century, and 
Modern history continues to the present time. 

The only Historic Race is the Caucasian, the others 
having done little worth recording. It is usually divided 
into three great branches: the Ar'yan, the Semit'ic, and 
the Hamit'ic. The first of these, Avhich includes the Per- 
sians, the Hindoos, and nearly all the European nations, is 
the one to which Ave belong. It has always been noted for its 
intellectual vigor. The second embraces the Assyrians, the 
Hebrews, the Phoenicians, and the Arabs. It has been 
marked by religious fervor, and has given to the world the 
three faiths — Jewish, Christian, and Mohammedan — which 
teach the worship of one God. The third branch f includes 
the Chaldeans and the Egyptians. It has been remarkable 
for its massive architecture. 

Ancient Aryan Nation. — Asia was doubtless the birth- 
place of mankind. In a time far back of all history, there 
lived in Bactria (map, p. 11) a nation that had made con- 
siderable progress in civilization. The people called them- 

* This method of reckoning waB introduced by Exiguus, a Roman abbot, near the 
middle of the 6th century. It is now thought that the birth of Christ occurred about 
four years earlier than the time fixed in our chronology. The Jews still date from the 
Creation, and the Mohammedans usually from the Hegira or Flight of Mohammed 
from Mecca (622 a. d.). 

t Those nations of Europe and Asia that are not Aryan or Semitic are frequently 
term^di ■Tttranian. This branch would then include the Mongols, Chinese, Japanese, 
Turks, Tartars, Lapps, Finns, Magyars, etc. Iran (e'-rahn) or Aria, the old name of 
Persia, the "land of light," is opposed to Turan, the barbarous region around, the 
"land of darkness." The classification of the Aryan (Indo-European) ;ind Semitic 
families of nations is based on resemblances in the languages spoken by them ; but 
the so-called Turanian dialects bear little resemblance to one another. 


selves Aryas or Aryans— those who go straight or upward. 
They dwelt in houses, ploughed the soil, ground their grain 
in mills, rode in vehicles, worked certain metals, calcu- 
lated up to 100, and had family ties, a government, and a 

Aryan Dispersion.— How long our Aryan forefathers 
lived united in their early home, we have no means of know- 
ing. As they increased in numbers they would naturally 
begin to separate. When they moved into distant regions, 
the bond of union would become weaker, their language 
would begin to vary, and so the seeds of new tongues and 
new nations would be sown. To the southeast these Aryan 
emigrants pushed into Persia and northern India ; to the west 
they gradually passed into Europe, whence, in a later age, 
they settled Australia and America. In general, they drove 
before them the previous occupants of the land. The 
peninsulas of Greece and Italy were probably earliest occu- 
pied. Three successive waves of emigration seem to have 
afterward swept over Central Europe. First came the Celts 
(Kelts), then the Teutons (Germans), and finally the Slaves, f 
Each of these appears to have crowded the preceding one 
farther west, as we now find the Celts in Ireland and Wales, 
and the Slaves in Kussia and Poland. 

* These views are;:based.on similarities of lan^iage. Among the Aryan nations, 
for example, we'^nd many words which have a family lilseness. Thus, night in 
Latin is nocty in Ge/man nacht, and in Greelv nykt; three in Latin is tres^ in Greek 
treis, and in Sanscrit (th^ Ant^ient language of the Hindoos) tri. All words common 
to the Aryan languages Kr3.gapposed to have belonged to the original speech of one 
parent race ; and ^^s^ io fet^rt with, men made no words until they had ideas which 
demanded expression, these- common words show the manner of life among that 
primitive people. Thus, we infer that the " daughter " of the household milked the 
cows, as that is the origiiiaa ^neaning of the word "milkmaid ;" that the Aryans had 
a regular governnveni:, siact *vords meaning king or ruler are the same in Sausscrit, 
Latin and English -^^ and thAt.they had a family life, since the words meaning/a^Acr, 
mother^ brother, slsier, etc^, £,re the same in these kindred tongues. 

t This word originally hioant "glorious," but came to have its present significa- 
tion, because, at one time, there were in Europe so many bondsmen of Slavonic 



The following table shows the principal nations which have de- 
scended from the ancient races : 

' Pbbsians. 


.; Gbeeks. 

*: Romans . . - 

■ French. •» 


Romanic (romance) 

Spaniards . 


. Portuguese, . 

r Welsh. 




Highland Scots. 


Teutons . , . - 

. Norwegians.* 

' Russians. 

Slaves . . . 


r Assyrians. 


[ Phoenicians. 


f Chaldeans. 
1 Egyptians. 

Commencement of Civil History.— History begins on 
the banks of the Nile, the Tigris, and the Euphrates.* There 
the rich alluvial soil, the geniial climate, and the abundant 
natural products of the earth offered every inducement 

* " The Nile valley and the Tigris-Enphrates hasin were two great oases in the 
vast desert which extended from west to east very nearly across the eastern hemi- 
sphere. These favored spots were not only the two centers of early civilization, but 
they were rivals of each other. They were connected by roads fit for the passage of 
vast armies. Whenever there was an energetic ruler along the Nile or the Tigiis- 
Euphrates, he at once, as if by an inevitable law, attempted the conquest of his com- 
petitor for the control of Western Asia. In fact, the history of ancient as well as 
modem Asia is little more than one continuous record of political struggles between 
Egypt and Mesopotamia, ending only when Europe entered the lists, as w th^ tim^ 
of Alexander tije Great and the Crusaders." 



to a nomadic people to settle and commence a national 
life. Accordingly, amid the obscurity of antiquity, we catch 
sight of Memphis, Thebes, Nineveh, and Babylon — the ear- 
liest cities of the world. The traveler of to-day, wandering 
among their ruins, looks upon the records of the infancy 
of man. 



The Origin of the civilization which grew up on the 
banks of the Nile is uncertain. The earliest accounts repre- 
sent the country as divided into nomes, or provinces, and 
having a regular government. About 2700 B. c. Menes 
(me-neez), the half-mythical founder of the nation, is said 
to have conquered Lower Egypt and built Memphis, which 
he made his capital. Succeeding him, down to the conquest 
of Egypt by the Persians under Cambyses (527 B.C.), there 
were twenty-six dynasties of Pharaohs, or kings. The his- 
tory of this long period of over 2000 years is divided into 
that of the Old, Middle and New Empires. 

1. The Old Empire (2700-2080 b. c.).*— During this 

Geoffrapkicat QuesHons.—ljQCVii& the capitals of the five early kingdoms of 
Egypt: This, Elephantine, Memphis, Heracleopolis, and Thebes. Where are the 
Pyramids of Gizeh ? Where were Lower, Middle and Upper Egypt ? Where is the 
first cataract of the Nile ? Describe the geographical appearance of Egypt. Ans. A 
flat valley, 2 to 10 miles wide, skirted by low, rocky hills ; on the west, the desert ; 
on the east, a mountainous region rich in quarries, extending to the Red Sea. 
Through this narrow valley, for 600 miles, the Nile river rolls its muddy waters 
northward. About 100 miles from the Mediterranean the hills recede, the valley 
widens, and the Nile di-vides into two outlets— the Damietta and Rosetta. These 
branches diverge until they enter the sea, 80 miles apart. Anciently there were 
seven branches, and the triangular space they enclosed was called the Delta, from the 
Greek letter A. The Nile receiving no tributary for about 1350 miles of its course, 
becomes, unlike other rivers, smaller toward its mouth. 

* Previous to the discoveries of the last century, the chief sources of information 
on Egypt were (1) Herod'otus, a Greek historian who traveled along the Nile about 
450 B.C., and based his accounts upon information obtained from the priests; 
(2) Diodo'rus Sic'ulus, anotlier Greek historian, who visited Egypt in the 1st century 
B. c, but whose statements are substantially those of Herodotus ; and (3) Man'etho, 



epoch the principal 
interest clusters 
about the IVth or 
Pyramid dynasty, 
so-called because its 
chief monarchs built 
the three great pyra- 
mids at Gizeh (ghe- 
zeh). The best 
known of these kings 
was Khufn, termed 
Clieops (ke-ops) by 
Herodotus. In time, 
Egypt broke up into 
separate kingdoms, 
Memphis gradually 
lost its pre-eminence, 
and Thebes became 
the favorite capital. 
2. The Middle 
Empire (2080-1525 
B. c). With the rise 
of Thebes to the 
sovereign power, be- 
gan a new epoch in 

an Egyptian priest (3d century b. c), who wrote in Greelc a history of which only 
fragments now remain. Manetho professed to compile his accounts from archives 
preserved in the Egyptian temples, and has been the main authority on chronology. 
He gives, however, a worthless list of gods, heroes, and kings whom he declares to 
have reigned for nearly 25,000 years before the accession of Menes. How many of 
the dynasties which follow Menes were contemporaneous is still a subject of dispute 
among Egyptologers, and there is thus a difference of over 2,300 years in the extreme 
dates given for the time of Menes. The Egyptians themselves had no continuous 
chronology, but reckoned dates from the ascension of each king, so that the monu- 
ments furnish little help. Of the five recovered lists of kings, only one attempts to 
give the length of their respective reigns, and this inscription is in 164 fragments, 
most of the figures being illegible. All Egyptian data prior to the XXVIth dynasty 
are uncertain. In this book, what is called the Short Chronology has been followed 


EGYPT ,,^ , ^ . 

Scale of Eng.Miles '"'^^'vT/neK^*** ,0.'^' 

' ^5 U -.- ^:^Mr^^?^.... 

J.WELL8 DEL. ^ T H I [O P I A 


Egyptian history. The XII th dynasty, reigning in the 
" 100-gated city/' was the first to claim all the district 
watered by the Nile, and under those great kings, the Sesor- 
tasens 2a\di Amenemhes, Ethiopia was conquered. To this 
dynasty belong' the famous Lake Moeris and the Labyrinth 
(p. 39). The country being parceled into five kingdoms, 
its divided state invited attack, and the Shepherd (Hyksos) 
Kings, a rude and barbarous race that had already conquered 
Lower Egypt, finally overran the Avhole region (1900 B. c). 
For about 400 years a darkness as of night rested on the 
land. At last the people rose under a Theban ruler and 
drove out their oppressors. 

3. The New Empire (1525-527 B.C.).— The native 
kings having been restored to the throne, Egypt became a 
united people with Thebes for the capital. Then followed 
a true national life of 1000 years. The XVIIIth and 
XlXth dynasties exalted Egypt to the height of its glory. 
Thotmes I. (tot'-meez) began a system of great Asiatic expe- 
ditions. TJiotmes III., who has been styled "the Egyptian 
Alexander the Great," erected the magnificent temple-palace 
at Thebes. From his inscriptions, he is believed to have 
taken tribute from Nineveh and Babylon, while his fleet, 
manned by Phoenician sailors, gave him the supremacy of 
the Mediterranean. Amunoph III. was a famous warrior 
and builder. Among his structures there remains the Vocal 
Memnon, which was said to sing when struck by the rays of 
the rising sun. Seti (Mineptah) completely subdued Meso- 
potamia, Assyria and Chaldea, and built the Great Hall of 
Karnakc* At an early age his son Eameses II. was made 

* The Great Temple of Karnak (>?ee Illustration, p. 9) was 1200 feet long by 360 
feet wide, and had five or six smaller temples grouped around it. The Great Hall 
was 340 feet by 170, and contained 134 columns, some of which were 70 feet high and 
12 f«et in diameter. " The mass of its central piers, illumined by a flood of light 
from above, and the smaller pillars of its wings, gradually fading into obscurity, 
are so arranged and lighted as to convey an idea of infinite space ; while the beauty 

18 EGYPT. 

joint king with him, and they reigned together until, accord- 
ing to Egyptian tradition, " Mineptah's soul, like a bird, 
suddenly flew up to heaven to exist forever in the bark of 
the sun." Rameses II., the Sesostris the Great of the Greek 
historians, carried his conquering arms far into Africa. Of 
all the Pharaohs, he was the greatest builder, and most of 
the ruins in Egypt bear his name, though they are much 
inferior in sculpture and architecture to the magnificent 
works of his father.* He founded a library inscribed " The 
Dispensary of the Soul," and gathered about him many men 
of genius, making his time the golden age of early art and 

The Decline of Egypt began with the XXth dynasty, 
when it was no longer able to retain its vast conquests. The 
tributary peoples revolted, and the country was subdued in 
turn by the Ethiopians and the Assyrians (p. 49). After 
nearly a century of foreign rule, Psammetichus of the XX Vlth 
dynasty threw off the Assyrian yoke and restored the Egyp- 
tian independence. This monarch, by employing Greek 

and massiveness of the forms, and the brilliancy of theh* colored decorations, all 
combine to stamp this as the greatest of man's architectural works." {Fergusson's 
Hist, of Arch.). Two miles further south, at Luxor, was another temple over 
800 feet long ; this was joined to Karnak by an avenue of sphinxes. Near "Thebes 
were two other celebrated monuments of the XVIIIth and XlXth dynasties, viz., 
the Memnonium, built by Amunoph III., and the Ramesseum, by Rameses II. 

* One of the first acts of Rameses after Seti's death was to complete the unfin- 
ished temple of Abydus, where his father was buried. A long inscription which he 
placed at the entrance, ostensibly in praise of the departed Seti, is a good example 
of his own boastfulness and habit of self-glorification. He says : " The mot^t beauti- 
fhl thing to behold, the best thing to rear, is a child with a thankful breast, whose 
heart beats for his father. Wherefore my heart urges me to do what is good for 
Mineptah. / wUl cause them to talk forever and eternally of his son, who has 
awakened his name to life." " I was a little boy when I attained to the government ; 
then Seti gave over to me the country, and I gave my orders as the chief of the life- 
guards and of the fighters on chariots. My father showed me publicly to the people, 
and I was a boy on his lap, and he spake thus : ' I will cause him to be crovracd as 
king, for I will behold his excellence while I am yet alive.' Thus was I like the sun- 
god Ra, the first of mortals." For a full translation of this inscription, see Brugsch's 
Egypt, Vol. 11. The filial zeal of Rameses so declined in his later years that he even 
chiseled out his father's name and memorials in manjr places pij the temple wftUs, 
e»^^^tJt»ting 149 own m tbejr pl»Q^ 


troops, so offended the native warriors that 200,000 of them 
mutinied and emigrated to Ethiopia. His successor Necho 
(Pharaoh-Necho of the Scriptures) maintained a powerful 
fleet. Under his orders the Phoenician ships rounded the 
Cape of Good Hope.* 

The internal prosperity of Egypt still continued, as is 
shown by the magnificent monuments of this period, but 
the army was filled with mercenaries, and the last of the 
Pharaohs fell an easy prey to the fierce-fighting Persians 
under Cambyses. Egypt, like Babylon (p. 51), was now 
reduced to a Persian province governed by a satrap. 


Egyptian Society was divided into distinct classes, so that no 
man could rise higher than the station in which he was born.f The 
priestly and military classes, which included the king, princes and 
all men of rank, were far above the others. 

The King received the most exalted titles, and his authority was 
supposed to come directly from the gods. The courtiers on approach- 
ing him fell prostrate, rubbing the ground with their noses ; some- 
times, by his gracious consent, they were permitted to touch his 
sacred knee.l That he might be kept pure, he was given from 
childhood only the choicest and most virtuous companions, and no 

* Twice during this voyage, says Herodotus, the crews, fearing a want of food, 
landed, drew their ships on shore, sowed grain and waited for a harvest. The pupil 
will notice that all this occurred over 2000 years before the time of Vasco da Gama 
(Hist. U. S., p. 41), to whom is generally accorded the credit of first circumnavigating 

t There seems to have been an exception in favor of talented scribes. "Neither 
descent nor family hampered the rising career of the clever. Many a monument con- 
secrated to the memory of some nobleman who had held high rank at court has the 
simple but laudatory inscription, 'His ancestors were unknown people.' " — Brugsch. 

X " When they had come before the king, their noses touched the ground, and 
their feet lay on the ground for joy ; they fell down to the ground and with their 
hands they prayed to the king. Thus they lay prostrate and touching the earth 
before the king, speaking thus : ' We are come before thee, the lord of heaven, lord 
of the earth, sun, life of the whole world, lord of time, creator of the harvest, dis- 
penser of breath to all men, animator of the gods, pillar of heaven, threshold of the 
earth, weigher of the balance of the two worlds,' " etc. [Inscription of Kameses II. 
at Abydus.] 



hired servant was allowed to approach his person. His daily con. 
duct was governed by a code of rules laid down in the sacred books, 
which prescribed not only the hourly order and nature of his occu- 
pations, but limited even the kind and quantity of his food. He 
was never suffered to forget his obligations, and one of the offices of 
the High Priest at the daily sacrifice was to remind him of his duties, 
and by citing the good works of his ancestors to impress upon him 
the nobility of a well-ordered life. After death he was worshipped 
with the gods. 

The Priests were the richest, the most powerful, and the only 
learned body of the country. They were not limited to sacred 
offices, and in their caste comprised all 
the mathematicians, scientists, lawyers 
and physicians of the land. Those 
priests who " excelled in virtue and wis- 
dom " were initiated into the holy mys- 
teries^ a privilege which they shared 
only with the king and the prince-royal. 
Among the priesthood, as in the other 
classes, there were marked distinctions 
of rank. The High Priests held the 
most honorable station. Chief among 
them was the Prophet, who offered 
sacrifice and libation in the temple, 
wearing as his insignia a leopard skin 
over his robes. The king himself often 
performed the duties of this office. The 
religious observances of the priests, were 
rigid. They had long fasts, bathed 
twice a day and twice in the night, and 
every third day were shaven from head to foot ; the most devout 
using water which had been tasted by the sacred Ibis. Beans, pork, 
fish, onions, and various other articles of diet were forbidden to 
them, and on certain days when a religious ceremony compelled 
every Egyptian to eat a fried fish before his door, the priests burned 
theirs instead. Their dress was of linen ; woolen might be used for 
an outer, but never for an inner garment, nor could it be worn into 
a temple. The influence of the priests was immense, since they not 
only ruled the living, but were supposed to have power to open and 
shut the gates of eternal bliss to the dead. They received an ample 
income from the state, and had one-third of the land free of tax. 


(From Monument at Thebes.) 

THE civilizatio:n^. 


an inheritance which they claimed as a special gift from the god- 
dess Isis. 

The Military Glass also possessed one-third of the land, each 
soldier's share being about eight acres. The army, which numbered 
410,000 men, was well disciplined and thoroughly organized. It 
comprised archers, spearmen, swordsmen, clubmen, and slingers. 
Each soldier furnished his own equipments, and held himself in 
constant readiness for duty. He wore a metal coat of mail and a 
metal or cloth helmet, and carried a large shield made of ox-hide 
drawn over a wooden frame. The chariots, of which great use was 


made in war, were sometimes richly ornamented and inlaid with 
gold. The king led the army, and was often accompanied by a 
favorite lion. 

Loicer Glasses. — All the free population not belonging to the 
priesthood or the military, was divided into three general classes, 
which were again subdivided, each trade or occupation having its 
own rank and inhabiting a certain quarter of the town. The highest 
of these classes included the husbandmen or farmers, the huntsmen, 
Nile-boatmen and others; next in rank were the artisans, trades- 
men, mechanics and public weighers; while the lowest class was 
made up of herdsmen, fishermen, poulterers and common laborers. 
Swineherds were the most despised of all men, and were forbidden 
to enter the temples. As the entire land of Egypt was owned by 

;♦ H t ^- 

22 EGYPT. 

the king, the priests and the soldiers, the lower classes could hold 
no real estate ; but they had strongly-marked degrees of importance, 
depending upon the relative rank of the trade to which they were 
born, and their business success. No artisan could meddle in 
political affairs, hold any civil office, or engage in any other employ- 
ment than the one to which he had been brought up, under a severe 
penalty. Every man was obliged to have some regular means of 
subsistence, a written declaration of which was deposited period- 
ically with the magistrate ; a false account or an unlawful business 
was punished by death. 

Writing. — Hieroglyphics * (sacred sculptures). — The earliest 
Egyptian writing was a series of object pictures analogous to that 
still used by the North American Indians {Brief Hist. U. 8., p. 13). 

Gradually this primitive system 
^ was altered and abbreviated into 
f (1) hieratic (priestly) writing, 
THE NAME OF EGVPT .N HiEROGL vPH.cs. ^hc form iu which most Egyp- 
tian literature is written, and 
which is read by first resolving it into the original hieroglyphs ; and 
(2) demotic (writing of the people), in which all traces of the original 
pictures are lost. During these changes many meanings became 
attached to one sign, so that the same hieroglyph might represent 
an idea, the symbol of an idea, or an abstract letter, syllable or word. 
An Egyptian scribe used various devices to explain his meaning. 
To a hieroglyphic word or syllable he would append one or more 
of its letters ; then, as the letter-signs had different meanings, he 

* So called by the Greeks, who thought them to be mystic religious symbols 
understood only by the priests. Neither the Greeks nor Romans attempted to 
decipher them. The discovery of the Rosetta stone (1799) furnished the first clue to 
their reading. A French engineer, while digging intrenchments on the site of an old 
temple near the Rosetta mouth of the Nile {Brief Hist, of France, p. 229), unearthed 
a black basalt tablet inscribed in three languages : hieroglyphic, demotic, and 
Greek. It proved to be a decree made by the priests in the time of Ptolemy V. 
(196 b. c), whom it styled the "god Epiphanes," increasing his divine honors and 
ordering that the command should be engraved in the three languages and placed in 
all the chief temples. By a comparison of the Greek and Egyptian texts a principle 
of interpretation was finally established. Hieroglyphics had hitherto been supposed 
to represent only ideas or symbols. Twenty-three years after the discovery of the 
Rosetta stone, the great French scholar Francois Champollion announced that they 
express both ideas and sounds. The Egyptians enclosed their royal names and titles 

in an oval ring or cartouch. Out of the four cartouches, ^l^^^^Pj Ptolemaios. 

fen^V;] Berenike, (S^^^ Kleopatra, and (V^Z^ZTJ 

Alexandros, Champollion obtaint-d a partial alphabet, which was completed by 
subsequent analyses. 


would add a picture of some object that would suggest the intended 
idea. Thus, for the word bread "^ ,i, ^^ would write the 
syllable 3^^ U§), then its complement ••(§).• and, finally, as 
a determinative, give the picture of a loaf (c^ ). One would 
suppose that the form of the loaf would itself have been sufficient, 
but even that had several interpretations. In like manner, the 

scribe appended the determinative ^h, ^^^ ^"^^^ ^^ words sig- 
nifying actions of the mouth, as eating, laughing^ speaking, etc., but 
to those of the thought, as hiowing, judging, deciding. To under- 
stand hieroglyphics, a knowledge of the peculiar ideas of the Egyp- 
tians is also necessary. It is easy to see that ^A means worship 

and *|^ crime ; but we should hardly interpret (m^ as son, 

or ^1 as mother, imless we knew that geese were believed to 

possess a warm filial nature, and all vultures to be females. Besides 
these and other complications in hieroglyphic writing, there was no 
uniform way of arranging sentences. They were written both hori- 
zontally and perpendicularly ; sometimes part of a sentence was 
placed one way and part the other ; sometimes the words read from 
right to left, sometimes from left to right, and sometimes they were 
scattered about within a given space without any apparent order. 

Papyrus. — Books were written and government records kept on 
papyrus* (hence, paper) rolls. These were generally about ten 
inches wide and often one hundred and fifty feet long. They were 
written upon with a frayed reed dipped into black or red ink. As 
the government had the monopoly of the papyrus, it was very costly. 

* The papyrus or paper-reed, which flourished in ancient times so luxuriantly that 
it formed jungles along the banks of the Nile, is no longer found in Egypt. (The 
paper-reeds by the brooks, by the mouth of the brooks, shall wither, be driven away, 
and be no more. — Isaiah xix. 7.) It had a large three-sided, tapering stem, two to 
three inches broad at the base. The reed was prepared for use by peeling off the 
smooth bark and cutting the inner mass of white pith lengthways into thin slices, 
which were laid side by side with their edges touching one another. A second layer 
having been placed transversely upon the first and the whole sprinkled with the 
muddy Nile water, a heavy press was applied which united them in one mass. It 
was then dried and cut into sheets of the required size. Papyrus was in use until the 
end of the 7th century a. d., when it was superseded by parchment— prepared skins. 
The latter was also used in Egypt at a very early period, and though it is generally 
supposed to have been invented by Eumenes, king of Pergamus, in the 2d century 
B.C., "records written upon skins and kept in the temple " are mentioned in the 
time of the XVIIIth dynasty, 1200 years before Eumenes (p, 156.) 



pottery, stones, boards, 
the bark and leaves of 
trees, and the shoulder- 
bones of animals. 
Literature.— ^6*6-^ of the Bead. — The most cele- 
brated Egyptian book is the " Book of the Manifestation to Light," 
often called the " Book of the Dead." It is a ritual for the use 
of the soul in its journeys* after death, and a copy more or less 

* The soul was described as making long and perilous journeys in the under- 
world. Instructions were given by which it could vanquish the frightful monsters 
that constantly assailed it before reaching the first gate of heaven. That passed,. it 
entered upon a series of transformations, becoming successively a hawk, lotus- 
flower, heron, crane, serpent and crocodile, all being symbols of Deity. Meanwhile 
it retained a mysterious connection with its mummied body, and was at liberty to 
come and go from the grave during the day time in any form it chose. At last the 
body, carefully preserved from decay, joined the soul in its travels and they went 
on together to new dangers and ordeals. The most dreaded of aU encounters, was 
the trial in the Great Hall of Justice before Osiris and his forty-two assessors, where 
the heart was weighed in the infallible scales of Truth, and its fate irrevocably fixed. 
The accepted soul was identified with Osiris and set out on a series of ecstatic 


complete, according to the fortune of the deceased, was enclosed in 
the mummy-case. This strange book contains some sublime pas- 
sages, and many of its chapters date from the earliest antiquity. As 
suggestive of Egyptian morals, it is interesting to find in the soul's 
defence before Osiris, such sentences as these : 

" I have not been idle ; I have not been intoxicated ; I have not told secrets ; I 
have not told falsehoods ; I have not defrauded ; I have not slandered ; I have not 
caused tears ; I have given food to the hungry, drink to the thirsty, and clothes to 
the naked." 

Phtah-ho'Up''s Booh. — Grood. old Prince Phtah-hotep, son of a 
king of the Vth dynasty, wrote a moral treatise full of excellent 
advice to the young people of 4000 years ago. This book, now pre- 
served in Paris, is believed to be the oldest in the world. The fol- 
lowing extracts are noticeable : 

On Filial Obedience. "The obedient son shall grow old and obtain favor : thus 
have I, mys^elf , become an old man on earth and have lived 110 years in favor with 
the king, and approved by my seniors." 

On Freedom from Arrogance. " If thou art become great, after thou hast been 
humble, and if thou hast amassed riches after poverty, being because of that the first 
in thy town ; if thou art known for thy wealth and art become a great lord, let not 
thy heart become proud because of thy riches, for it is God who is the author of them. 
Despise not another who is as thou wast ; be towards him as towards thy equal." 

On Cheerfulness. '• Let thy face be cheerful as long as thou livest ; has any one 
come out of the coffin after having once entered it ? " 

Miscellaneous Boohs. — Several treatises on medicine have been 
deciphered. They generally abound in charms and adjurations. 
Works on rhetoric and mathematics, and various legal and j)o- 
litical documents are extant. Epistolary correspondence is abun- 
dant. A letter addressed by a priest to one of the would-be poets 
of tlie time, contains this wholesome criticism : 

"It is very unimportant what flows over thy tongue, for thy compositions are 
very confused. Thou tearest the words to tatters, just as it comes into thy mind. 
Thou dost not take pains to find out their force for thyself. If thou rushest wildly 
forward thou wilt not succeed. I have struck out for thee the end of thy composi- 
tion, and I return to thee thy descriptions. It is a confused medley when one hears 
it ; an uneducated person could not understand it. It is hke a man from the low- 
lands speaking with a man from Elephantine." 

A few works of fiction exist which belong to the Xlltli dynasty, 
and there are many beautiful hymns addressed to the different gods. 
A long and popular poem, the E]pk, of Pentaur, which celebrated 

journeys in the boat of the Sun, the final glory being a blissful and eternal rest. 
The rejected soul was sent back to the earth in the form of a pig or some other 
andean animal to suffer degradation and torture. 




the deeds of Rameses II., won the prize in its time as a heroic song, 
and was engraved on the temple walls at Abydus, Luxor, Karnak and 
the Ramesseum, It has sometimes been styled the Egyptian Iliad. 

Education was mider the control of the priesthood, who 
schooled their own children in the science and literature of the day. 

Great attention was paid to mathe- 
matics and to writing, of which the 
Egyptians were especially fond. Geom- 
etry and mensuration were important, 
as the yearly inundation of the Nile 
produced constant disputes concerning 
property boundaries. In music, only 
those songs appointed by law were 
taught, the children being carefully 
guarded from any of doubtful senti- 
ment. As women were treated with 
great dignity and respect in Egypt, 
reigning as queens and serving in the 
holiest oflBces of the temple, they 
probably shared in the advantages of 
schooling. Though a certain amount of learning was open to all 
classes, the common people had little education except what per- 
tained to their trade or calling. Reading and writing were so diffi- 
cult as to be considered great accomplishments. 

Momiments and Art. — Stupendous size and mysterious sym- 
bolism characterize all tlie monuments of this strange people. 
They built immense pyramids holding closely-hidden chambers; 
gigantic temples * whose massive entrances, guarded by great stone 
statues, were approached by long avenues of colossal sphinxes; vast 
temple-courts, areas and halls in which were forests of carved and 
gaily-painted colunms; and lofty obelisks, towers and sitting statues,! 

* "Upon broad brick terraces raised high above the flat banks of the stream, 
stood the Egyptian temple, a strictly isolated building. Huge sloping walls, crowned 
with the overshadowing concave cornice, surround its enclosure, and invest the 
whole with a solemn and mysterious character. No opening for windows, no colon- 
nades interrupt the monotonous surface of the temple- wall, which is covered as with 
a gigantic tapestry, with brilliantly-colored intaglio sculptures and hieroglyphics. 
The narrow, lofty entrance, facing the river-bank, is between two tower-like sloping 
structures, rising high above the rest of the building. In front of these pylons stood 
great masts which on festive occasions were surmounted by pendant flags." — LUbke's 
History of Art. 

t In the Memnonium at Thebes, the sitting statue of Rameses 11.. made of 
Syenite granite, measured over 22 feet across the shoulders and is estimated to have 
•weighed 887 tons. It is now in fragments. 



which still endure, though desert winds and drifting sands have 
beaten upon them for thousands of years. 

SculjJture — Painting — Statuary. — Egyptian granite is so hard that 
it is cut with difficulty by the best steel tools of to-day ; yet the 
ancient sculptures are sometimes graven to t^ie depth of several 
inches, and show an exquisite finish and accuracy of detail. Paint- 
ing was usually combmed with sculpture, the natural hue of the 
objects represented being crudely imitated. Blue, red, green, black, 
yellow and white were the principal colors. Red, which typified the 
sun,* and blue, the color of the sky refiected in the Nile, were sacred 
tints. Tombs, which were cut in the solid rock, had no outer orna- 
mentation, but the interior was gaily painted with scenes from every- 
day life. Sarcophagi and the walls which en- 
closed temples were covered both inside and out- 
side with scenes or inscriptions. In temples, the 
subjects for painting were mostly from the Book 
of the Dead ; in palaces were pictured the royal 
hunts and conquests. The proportion, form, 
color and expression of every statue were fixed 
by laws prescribed by the priests, the effect most 
sought being that of immovable repose.t A 
wooden statue found at Sakkarah and belonging 
to one of the earliest dynasties is remarkable for 
its fine expression and evident effort at por- 

Mode of Drawing — Perspective.— Jxi drawing the 
human form, the entire body was traced, after which the drapery 
was added (see cut). Several artists were employed on one picture. 
The first drew squares of a definite size upon which he sketched in 
red an outline of the desired figure ; the next corrected and improved 
it in black ; the sculptor then followed with his chisel and other 
tools; and finally, the most important artist of all laid on the pre- 
scribed colors. The king was drawn on a much larger scale than his 
subjects ; his dignity being suggested by his colossal size. Gods and 



* Red was also the color of Typhon, the evil god (p. .31). 

t All Egyptian statues, whether erect, seated or kneeling, have a stiflf, rigid pose, 
and are generally fastened at the back to a pillar. During the reign of the Ptolemies 
(323-30 B. c.) the priests ordered the statues of the gods to be made with one foot in 
advance of the other. So great were the horror and fear of the masses at seeing their 
deities apparently ready to walk, that they rashed from all sides with strong ropes 
and tied the divinities to their pedestals lest they shoi;ld be tempted to roam abroad, 
and thus leave the country godless, 


goddesses were frequently represented with the head of an animal 
on a human form. There was no idea of perspective, and the general 
effect of an Egyptian painted scene was that of grotesque stiffness. 

Practical Arts and Inventions. — We have seen how the 
Egyptians excelled in cutting granite. Steel was in use as early as 
the IVth dynasty, and pictures on the Memphite tombs represent 
butchers sharpening their knives on a bar of that metal attached to 
their apron. Great skill was shown in alloying, casting and solder- 
ing metals. Some of their bronze implements, though buried for 
ages, and since exposed to the damp of European climates, are still 
smooth and bright. They possessed the art of imparting elasticity 
to bronze or brass ; and of overlaying bronze with a rich green by 
means of acids. 

Olnss bottles are represented in the earliest sculptures, and 
the Egyptians had their own secrets in coloring which the best 
Venetian glass-makers of to-day are unable to discover. Their glass 
mosaics were so delicately ornamented that some of the feathers of 
birds and other details can be made out only with a lens, which 
would imply that this means of magnifying was used in Eg3^pt. 
G^ims and precious stones were successfully imitated in glass, 
and Wilkinson says, "The mock pearls found by me in Thebes 
were so well counterfeited that even now 
it is difficult with a strong lens to detect 
the imposition." 

Goldsmiths washing and working gold 
are seen on monuments of the IVth dy- 
nasty ; and gold arid silver wire were woven 
into cloth and used in embroidery as early 
as the Xllth dynasty. Gold rings, brace- 
lets, armlets, necklaces, earrings, vases and 
statues were common in the same age, 
the cups being often beautifully engraved 
and studded with precious stones. Ob- 
jects of art were sometimes made of silver 
or bronze inlaid with gold, or of baser 
metals gilded so as to give the effect of 
solid gold. 

Veneering was extensively practiced, and 
in sculptures over 3300 years old workmen are seen with glue-pot 
on the fire fastening the rare woods to the common sycamore and 
acacia. In cabinet work Egypt excelled, and house-furniture as- 
sumed graceful and elegant forms. 




Flax and Cotton were grown, and great perfection was reached in 
spinning and weaving. Specimens of linen have been found in Mem- 
phi te tombs which are in touch comparable to silk and not infe- 
rior in texture to our finest cambric. Strength was combined with 


fineness, and the flax-strings used for fowling-nets were so delicate 
that " a man could carry nets enough to surround a whole wood.'" 
Mordants were employed in dyeing cloth, as in our own manufac- 
tories. Finally, wooden hoes, shovels, forks and ploughs, toothed 

sickles and drags 
aided the farmer 
in his work ; the 
carpenter had 
axe, hammer, file, 
adze, handsaw, 
chisel, drill, plane, 
right-angle, ruler 
and plummet; the 
glass-worker and 
gem-cutter used 
emery powder and 
the lapidaiy's wheel ; the potter, too, had his wheel upon which he 
worked the clay after he had kneaded it with his feet ; the public 
weigher was furnished with stamped weights and measures, and 
delicate scales for balancing the gold and silver rings used as cur- 
rency ; the musicians played on double and single pipes, harps, 
flutes, guitars, lyres, tambourines, and cymbals ; while the drum and 
trumpet cheered the soldier in his march. 


30 EGYPT. 


General Character.— The Egyptians were mild in disposition, 
polite in manners, reverential to their elders and superiors, extremely 
loyal and patriotic, and intensely religious. They have been called 
a gloomy people, but their sculptures reveal a keen sense of humor 
and love of caricature. They were especially fond of ceremonies and 
of festivals. Their religion formed a part of their every-day life, and 
was interwoven with all their customs. 

Religion. — The Egyptian priests believed in one invisible, over- 
ruling, self-created God ; the immortality of the soul ; a judgment 
after death ; the final annihilation of the wicked ; and the ultimate 
absorption of the good into the eternal Deity. 

" God created His own members, which are tJie gods," tliey said ; 
and so out of one great God grew a host of Jesser ones, regarded by 
the priests as only His attributes and manifestations, but becoming to 
the people distinct and separate divinities. Natural objects and prin- 
ciples were thus deified — the soil, the sky, the East, the West, even 
the general idea of time and space. Each month and day had its own 
god. The Nile, as the source of the country's fertility, was especially 
revered, and the conflict of God with sin was seen in the life-giving 
river, and the barren, encroaching desert. 

The Sun, especially in later times, was the great exponent of 
Deity. His mysterious disappearance each night, and his return every 
morning to roll over the heavens with all the splendor of the pre- 
ceding day, were events full of symbolic meaning. The rising sun 
was the beautiful young god Horus ; in his midday glory, he was Ra ; 
as he neared the western horizon he became Tum ; and during the 
night he was Amun. Each of these gods, as well as the many others 
connected with the sun, had his own specific character. This complex 
sun god was imagined to float through the sky in a boat accompanied 
by the souls of the Supremely Blest, and at night to pass into the 
regions of the dead. 

Triad of- Orders.— "Vhere were three orders of gods. The first * 

* In Thebes, Amun-Ra, the "Concealed God" or "Absolute Spirit " headed the 
deities of the first order. He was represented as having the head of a ram, the 
hieroglyphic of a ram signifying also concealment. In Memphis, Phtah, " Father 
of the Beginnings," the Creator, was chief ; his symbol was the scarabseus or beetle, 
an image of which was placed on the heart of every mummy. Phtah was father of 
Ra, the sun-god. Ra was, in the mystic sense, that which is to-day, the existing 
present; the hawk was his emblem. Pasht, his sister, one of the personifications 
of the sun's strong rays, sometimes healthful, sometimes baneful, was both loved and 
feared. She was especially worshipped at Bubastis, but her statues, having the head 




was for the priesthood and represented the ideal and spiritual part of 
the religion ; the second impersonated human faculties and powers ; 
and the third — the most popular of all among the people — was made 
up of forms and forces in Nature. 

Triads of Gods. — Each town or city had its specially-honored triad 
of deities to whom its temples were dedicated. The triads often con- 
sisted of father, mother, and son ; but sometimes of two gods and 
a king. Osiris, who with Isis and _ 

Horns formed the most celebrated 
of the triads, was worshipped 
throughout the land. So popular 
were these deities that it has 
been said, " With the exception of 
Amun and Neph. they comprise 
all Egyptian mythology." * 

Animal Worship. — As early as 
the lid dynasty certain animals 
came to be regarded as em- 
blems or even incarnations of the 
gods. The bull Apis, whose tem- 
ple was at Memphis, was sup- 
posed to be inhabited by Osiris 

himself, and the sacred presence of the god to be attested by cer- 
tain marks on the body of the animal. Apis was consulted as an 

of a cat, are common all over Egypt. Neph, often confounded with Amun and, like 
him, wearing the ram's head, was the Divine Breath or Spirit pervading matter; 
sheep were sacred to him. Thoth, son of Neph, was god of intelligence ; the ibis 
was his emblem. Sate, the wife of Neph and one of the forms of Isis, was the god- 
dess of vigilance ; she was the eastern sky waiting for the morning sun. Athor, 
goddess of love, was the beautiful western sky, wife of the evening sun, taking the 
wearied traveler to rest in her arms after each day's labor ; the cow was her emblem. 
Neith, wife of Phtah, was goddess of wisdom ; she was the night sky which induces 
reflection. Maut, the Mother Goddess and greatest of the sky divinities — which 
were all feminine— was the cool night sky tenderly brooding over the hot, exhausted 
earth ; the shrew mouse was sacred to her. Typhon was the common enemy of all 
the other gods ; his emblems were the pig, the ass, and the hippopotamus. 

* It was related that Osiris once went about the earth doing good ; that he was 
persecuted and slain by Set (Typhon) his brother ; that his wife Isis, by her prayers 
and invocations, assisted in his resurrection ; and that finally Horus, his son, 
avenged his wrongs and destroyed Set. In this myth Osiris represents the Divine 
Goodness : Isis is the Love of Goodness ; Set, the principle of Evil, and Horus, the 
Divine Triumph. Osiris had a multitude of characters. He was the Nile ; he was 
the sun ; he was the judge of the dead ; from him all souls emanated, and in him 
all justified souls were swallowed up at last. To know "The mysteries of Osiris" 
was the glory of the priesthood. Isis, too, appeared in many forms and was called 
by the Greeks "She of the ten-thousand names." Mystic legends made her the 
mother, wife, sister and daughter of Osiris ; while Horus was their son and brother, 
and was Osiris himself. 

32 EGYPT. 

oracle, and his breath was said to confer upon children the gift of 
prophecy. When an Apis died, great was the mourning until the 
priests found his successor, after which the rejoicing was equally 
demonstrative. The cost of burying the Apis was so great as some- 
times to ruin the officials who had him in charge.* The calf Mnevis 
at Heliopolis and the white cow of Athor at Athribis were also rev- 
erenced as incarnations of Deity. Other animals were considered as 
only emblems. Of these, the hawk, ape, ibis, cat f and asp were every- 
where worshipped, but crocodiles, dogs, jackals, frogs, beetles and 
shrew mice, as well as certain plants and vegetables, were venerated 
in different sections of the country. Those saCred in one nome were 
often, in others, hated and hunted or used for food. Thus, at Thebes 
the crocodile and the sheep were worshipped, while tlie goat was 
eaten ; at Mendes the sheep was eaten and the goat worshipped ; and 
at Apollinopolis the crocodile was so abhorred as an emblem of the 
evil spirit, that the people set apart an especial day to hunt and kill 
as many crocodiles as possible, throwing the dead bodies before the 
temple of their own god. 

The crocodile was principally worshipped about Lake Moeris in the 
Fayoom. A chosen number of these animals was kept in the tem- 
ples, where they were given elegant apartments and treated to every 
luxury at public expense. Let us imagine a crocodile, .fresh from 
a warm, sumptuous bath, anointed with the most precious oint- 
ments and perfumed with fragrant odors ; its head and neck glittering 
with jeweled earrings and necklace, and its feet with bracelets, wal- 
lowing on 1 rich and costly carpet to receive the worship of intelligent 
human beings ! Its death was mourned as a public calamity ; its body, 
wrapped in linen, was carried to the embalmers, attended by a train of 
people weeping and beating their breasts in grief ; then, having been 
expensively embalmed and bandaged in gaily-colored mummy-cloths, 
amid imposing ceremonies it was laid away in its rock-sepulchre. ■ 

£jmbalming. — This art was a secret known only to those priests 

* Ancient authorities declared that no Apis was allowed to live over twenty-five 
years ; if he attained that age he was drowned with great ceremony in the Nile. 
The following inscription upon a recently-discovered memorial stone erected to an 
Apis of the XXIId dynasty, shows that at least one Apis exceeded that age : " This is 
the day on which the god was carried to his rest in the beautiful region of the west, 
and was laid in the grave, in his everlasting house and in his eternal abode." * * * 
*' His glory was sought for in all places. After many months he was found in the 
temple of Phtah, beside his father, the Memphian god Phtah." * * * "The full 
age of this god was 26 years." 

t When a cat died in any private dwelling the inmates shaved their eyebrows ; 
when a dog died, they shaved their entire bodies. The killing of a cat, even acci- 
dentally, was reckoned a capital offence. All sacred animal's were embalmed, and 
buried with impressive ceremonies. 




who had it in charge. The mummy was more or less elaborately pre- 
pared, according to the wealth and station of the deceased. In the 
most expensive process 
the brain and intestines 
were extracted, cleansed 
with palm-wine and aro- 
matic spices, and either 
returned to the body or 
deposited in vases which 

Avere placed in the tomb with the coffin.* The body was also cleansed 
and filled with a mixture of resin and aromatics, after which it was 
kept in nitre for forty days. It was then wrapped in bands of fine 
linen smeared on the inner side with gum. There were sometimes a 
thousand yards of bandages on one mummy. A thick papyrus case, 
fitted while damp to the exact shape of the bandaged body, next 
enclosed it. This case was richly painted and ornamented, the hair 
and features of the deceased being imitated, and eyes inlaid with 
brilliant enamel inserted. Sometimes the face was covered with 
heavy gold leaf. Often a network of colored beads was spread over 
the body, and a winged scarabseus (p. 80) placed upon the breast. A 
long line of hieroglyphics extending down the front told the name and 
quality of the departed. The inner case was inclosed in three other 


cases of the same form, all richly painted in different patterns. A 
wooden or carved stone sarcophagus was the final receptacle in the 
tomb, f 

* So careful were the Egyptians to show proper respect to all that belonged to 
the human body, that even the sawdust of the floor where they cleansed it was tied 
up iu small linen bags, which, to the number of twenty or thirty, were deposited in 
vases and buried near the tomb. 

t In a less expensive mode of embalming, the internal parts were dissolved by 
oil of cedar, after which the body was salted with nitre as before. The ordinary 



Burial. — When any person died, all the women of the house left 
the body and ran out into the streets, wailing, and throwing dust upon 
their heads. Their friends and relatives joined them as they went, 
and if the deceased was a person of quality, others accompanied them 
out of respect. Having thus advertised the death, they returned home 
and sent the body to the embalmers. During the entire period of its 
absence they kept up an ostentatious show of grief, sittin<^ unwashed 
and unshaven, in soiled and torn garments, 
singing dirges and making lamentation. 
After the body was restored to them, if 
they wished to delay its burial, they placed 
it in a movable wooden closet standing 
against the wall of the principal room in 
the house. Here, morning and evening, 
the members of the family came to weep 
over and embrace it, making offerings to 
the gods in its behalf. Occasionally it was 
brought out to join in festivities given in 
its honor (p. 43). The time having come to 
entomb it, an imposing procession was 
formed, in the midst of which the mummy 
was drawn upright on a sledge to the sacred 
lake adjoining every large city. At this 
point forty-two chosen officials — emblem- 
atical of the forty-two judges in the court 
of Osiris (p. 24) — formed a semicircle around the mummy, and formal 
inquiries were made as to its past life and character. If no accusation 
was heard, an eulogium was pronounced and the body was passed over 
the lake. If, however, an evil life was proven, the lake could not be 
crossed, and the distressed friends were compelled to leave the body 
of their disgraced relative unburied, or to carry it home and wait till 
their gifts and devotions, united to the prayers of the priesthood, 
should pacify the gods. Every Egyptian, the king included, was sub- 
jected to the " trial of tbe dead," and to be refused intennent was the 
greatest possible dishonor. The best security a creditor could have 
was a mortgage on the mummies of his debtor's ancestors ; if the debt 
were not paid, the delinquent forfeited his own burial and that of his 
entire family. 

mummy-cloth was coarse, resembling our sacldng. The bodies of the poor were 
simply cleansed and salted, or submerged in liquid pitch. These are the most 
numerous of all kinds, and are now found black, dry, heavy, and of disagreeable 
odor. It is a singular fact that few mummies of children have been discovered. The 
priests had the monopoly of everything connected with embalming and burial, and 
they not only resold tombs which had been occupied, but even trafficked in second- 
hand mummy-cases. 

a woman embracing her 

husband's mummy. 



The mummies of the poorer classes were deposited in pits in the 
plain or in recesses cut in the rock and then closed up with masonry ; 
those of the lowest orders were wrapped in coarse cloth, mats, or a 
bundle of palm sticks, and buried in the earth or huddled into the 


general repository. Various articles were placed in the tombs, espe- 
cially images of the deceased person and utensils connected with his 
profession or trade. Among the higher classes these objects were 
often of great value and included elegant vases, jewelry and important 


Scene I. — Pyramid Building (IVth dynasty).* — Let us imagine 
ourselves in Egypt about B.C. 2400. It is the middle of November, The 
Nile, which, after its yearly custom, began to rise in June, changing 
its color rapidly from a turbid red to a slimy green and then again to 
red, overflowed its banks in early August, and spreading its waters 
on either side made the country to look like an immense lake dotted 
with islands. For the last month it has been gradually creeping back 
to its winter banks, leaving everywhere behind it a fresh layer of rich 
brown slime. Already the farmers are out with their light wooden 

* Sixty-seven Egyptian pyramids have been discovered and explored, all situated 
on tlie edge of tlie desert, west of tlie Nile. The three great pyramids of Gizeh built 
by Khufa and his successors are the most celebrated. The great pyramid built in 
steps at Sakliarah and said to date from the Ist or lid dynasty is believed by many 
to be the oldest monument in Egypt, and with the exception of the ruins of the 
Tower of Babel, the most ancient in the world. 




plougts and lioes, or are harrowing with bushes the moist mud on 
which the seed has been thrown broadcast, and which is to be tram- 
pled down by the herds driven in for the purpose. Tlie first crop of 

clover is nearing its 
harvest ; by proper care 
and a persistent use 
of the shadoof* three 
more crops will be 
gathered from the same 
ground. The crocodile 
and the hippopotamus 
haunt the river shores ; 
in the desert the wolf, 
jackal and hyena prowl; 
but the greatest scourge 
and torment of the val- 
ley are the endless 
swarms of flies and 
gnats which rise from the mud of the subsiding Nile. 

King Khufu of the IVth dynasty is now on the thione, and the 
Great Pyramid, liis intended tomb, is in process of erection near Mem- 
phis, the city founded by Menes three hundred years ago. One hun 
dred thousand dusky menf are toiling under a burning sun, now 
quarrying in the limestone rock of the Arabian hills, now tugging at 
creaking ropes and rollers, straining every nerve and muscle under the 
rods of hard overseers, as along the solid causeway and up the inclined 
plane they drag the gigantic stones they are to set in place. Occasion- 
ally a detachment is sent up the river in boats to Syene to bring fine 
red granite, which is to be polished for casings to the inner passages 
and chambers. Not a moment is lost from work save when they sit 
down in companies on the hot sand to eat their government rations of 
"radishes, onions and garlics," the aggregate cost of which is to be 
duly inscribed upon the pyramid itself. So exhausting is this forced 
and unpaid labor that four times a year a fresh levy is needed to take 
the place of the worn-out toilers. When this pyramid is finished— and 
it will continue to grow as long as the king shall live % — it will stand 

* The pole and bucket with which water was raised from the Nile to irrigate the 
land. It is still in use in Egypt. . 

t Ten years were consumed in building the causeway whereon the stone was 
brought from the west bank of the Nile to the base of the pyramid. The con.struc- 
tion of the pyramid required twenty years more. Herodotus thought the causeway 
as great a work as the pyramid itself, and described it as being built of polished 
stone and ornamented with carvings of animals. 

$ As soon as a Pharaoh mounted his throne, he gave orders to some nobleman to 
plan the work and cut the stone for the royal tomb. The kernel of the future edi- 


480 feet high with a base covering 13 acres. Its sides, which exactly 
face the four cardinal points, will be cased with highly-polished stone 
fitted into the angles of the steps, the workmen beginning at the apex 
and working downward, leaving behind them a smooth, glassy sur- 
face which cannot be scaled. There will be two sepulchral chambers 
with passages leading thereto, and five smaller chambers,* built to 
relieve the pressure of so great a mass of stone. The king's chamber, 
which is situated in the center of the pyramid and is to hold the royal 
sarcophagus, will be ventilated by air shafts and defended by a suc- 
cession of granite portcullises. But Kliufu will not rest here, for his 
oppression and alleged impiety have so angered the people that they 
will bury him elsewhere, leaving his magnificently-planned tomb with 
its empty sarcophagus to be wondered and speculated over thousands 
of years after his ambitious heart has ceased to beat. 

Meantime, other great public works are in progress.! Across the 
arm of the Red Sea on the peninsula of Sinai — not sacred Sinai yet, 
for there are centuries to come before Moses — are the king's copper 
and turquoise mines. Sculpture is far advanced, and images of gold, 
bronze, ivory and ebony are presented to the gods. The whole land 

flee was raised on the limestone soil of the desert in the form of a small pyramid 
built in steps, of which the well-constructed and finished interior formed the king's 
eternal dwelling, with the stone sarcophagus lying on the rocky floor. A second 
covering was added, stone by stone, on the outside of this kernel ; a third to this 
second ; and to this a fourth ; the mass growing greater the longer the king lived. 
Every pyramid had its own proper name ; that of Khufu bore a title of honor— 
" The Lights.''''— BrugscK' 8 Egypt. 

* In one of these small chambers, Colonel Vyse, an English explorer who was the 
first to enter them, found the royal name scrawled in red ochre on the stones, as if 
done by some idle overseer in the quarry. The chambers mentioned in the text and 
a subterranean room excavated in the rock below the base of the pyramid are all 
that have been discovered, the builders having used every precaution to conceal and 
guard the entrances. It has been ingeniously calculated that this pyramid is large 
enough to contain thirty-seven hundred rooms the size of the king's chamber (34 x 
17 feet) with partition walls between them as thick as the rooms themselves. It is a 
proof of the architectm-al skill of the early Egyptians that they could construct in 
such a mass of stone, chambers and passages which, with a weight of millions of tons 
pressing upon them, should preserve their original shape without crack or flaw for 
thousands of years. 

t Some Egyptologers believe that the Great Sphinx— which is a recumbent, 
human-headed lion 146 feet long, sculptured from the solid rock— dates from this 
time, some think that it existed before the IVth dynasty, and others attribute it 
to the XVIIIth dynasty. A tablet has been found which mentions Khufu in con- 
nection with "The Temple of the Sphinx," but the date of this inscription is itself 
disputed. A vast temple, however, was discovered by M. Mariette in 1866, buried in 
the sand of the desert near the Sphinx. It is constructed of enormous blocks of 
black or rose-colored granite and oriental alabaster, without sculpture or ornament. 
In a well not far distant were found fragments of splendid statues, claimed to be of 
Shafra, the successor of Khufu. 

38 EGYPT. 

swarms with a rapidly -increasing population, but food is abundant,* 
raiment little more than a name, and lodging free on the warm earth. 
Besides, the numbers are kept from too great increase by the royal 
policy which rears enormous monuments at the price of flesh and 
blood. The overwrought gangs constantly sink under their heavy 
burdens, and hasten on to crowd the common and repulsive mummy- 
pits in the limestone hills. 

Scene II. — A Lord of the IVth Dynasty has large estates managed 
by a host of traftied servants. He is not only provided with baker, 
butler, barber and other household domestics, but with tailor, sail- 
maker, goldsmith, tile-glazer, potter and glass blower.f His musicians 
with their harps, pipes and flutes, his acrobats, pet dogs and apes, 
amuse his leisure hours. He has his favorite games of chance or skill 
which, if he is too indolent to play himself, his slaves play in his 
presence. He is passionately fond of hunting, and of fishing in the 
numerous canals which intersect the country and are fed from the 
Nile. He has small papyrus canoes, and also large, square sailed, 
double-masted boats, in which he sometimes takes out his wife and 
children for a moonlight sail upon the river, his harpers sitting cross- 
legged at the end of the boat and playing the popular Egyptian airs. 
But he does not venture out into the Mediterranean with his boats. 
He has a horror of the sea, and to go into that impure region would 
be a religious defilement. On land, he rides in a seat strapped between 
two asses. He has never heard of horses or chariots, nor will they 
appear in Egypt for a thousand years to come. He wears a white 
linen robe, a gold collar, bracelets and anklets, but no sandals. For 
his table he has wheaten or barley bread, beef, game, fruits and 
vegetables, beer, w^ine and milk. His scribes keep careful record of 
his flocks and herds, his tame antelopes, storks and geese, writing 
with a reed pen on a papyrus scroll. He has his tomb cut in the rocks 
near the royal pyramid, where he sometimes goes to oversee the 
sculptors and painters who are ornamenting its walls with pictures of 
his dignities, his riches, his pleasures and manner of life. He docs 
not forget to commemorate the fidelity of his beloved wife, whom he 
has painted opposite himself with her right hand placed over her 
heart, as they stand before a table spread with viands for the dead. 
Besides the one or two chambers thus fashionably beautified, there is 
a deep pit which stretches down perhaps for seventy feet. Here, in 

* '• The whole expense of a child from infancy to manhood," says Diodorus, " is 
not more than twenty drachmae" (about four dollars), 

+ Such a household must have been a center of practical education ; and an enter- 
prising Egyptian boy, dearly as he loved his games of ball and wrestling, was likely 
to be well-versed in the processes of every trade, (See Brief Hist. France^ p. 33.) 


recesses cut in the sides and bottom * will finally be placed the mum- 
mies of this lord and his family. Meantime, he strives to be true to 
his gods, obedient to his king-, and affectionate to his household ; for 
thus he hopes to pass the rigid ordeals which follow death, and to rest 
at last in the Boat of the Sun. 

Scene llI.—Ame7iem/i€ III., the Lahyrinth. and Lake Mo&ris (Xllth 
dynasty, about B.C. 2080-1900). — Over four centuries have passed since 
Khufu's Pyramid was finished, and now toward the southwest, on an 
oasis in the midst of the desert, we see rising a magnificent group of 
twenty-seven palaces, one for each Egyptian nome. In the center of 
this complicated structure is an immense square or rectangle, and here 
are twelve roofed courts, with gates exactly opposite one another, six 
looking north and six south. Every court is surrounded by a colon- 
nade built of white stones exquisitely fitted together. There are three 
thousand chambers, large and small, in this great palace, besides a 
very wilderness of elaborately-constructed passages and winding paths, 
courts and colonnades. The roof is of stone like the walls, which are 
covered with carvings. Half of the chambers are underground, and 
are to be the sepulchres of kings and of the sacred crocodiles attached 
to the temple of Sebak, the crocodile god. This marvellous labyrinth, 
where one "passes from courts into chambers, and from chambers 
into colonnades, from colonnades into fresh houses and from these into 
courts unseen before," is surrounded by a single wall and encloses 
three sides of the large, twelve-courted rectangle. On the fourth side 
stands a pyramid, engraven with large hieroglypliics, and entered by 
a subterranean passage. Amenemhe Hid does not leave his identity 
as the founder of this grand palace tomb to the chance scrawls of a 
quarry workman, as did Khufu with his pyramid, but has his car- 
touch properly inscribed on the building-stones. 

Lake Mceris. — There have been some grievous famines f in Egypt 
produced by the variable inundations of the Nile, and Amenemhe 

* "Whose graves are set in the sides of the ipiL''''—Ezekiel xxxii. 23. 

t "All Egypt is the gift of the Nile," wrote Herodotus. The river, however, was 
cot left to overflow its banks without restrictions. The whole country was more or 
less intersected with canals and protected by dykes, Menes himself, according to 
Herodotus, having constructed a dyke and turned aside the course of the Nile in 
order to found Memphis. The rise of the river was closely watched, and was 
measured by "Nilometers" in various parts of the country. The proper moment 
for cutting away the dams and opening the canals was awaited with anxiety and 
decided by auspicious omens. " A rise of fourteen cubits caused joy, fifteen security, 
sixteen delight." Twelve cubits foretold a famine. An excessive Nile was as dis- 
astrous as a deficient one. A " Good Nile " brought harvests so abundant a^ to make 
Egyptian storehouses the granary of the eastern world. It is supposed that the visit 
of Abram and Sarai to Egyi)t, caused by a famine in Canaan, occurred during the 
reign of the Xlth dynasty. 



causes to be constructed not far from the Labyrinthine Palace a gigan 
tic lake, with one canal leading to the great river, and another ter- 
minating in a natural lake still further to the west. 
He thus diverts the waters of an excessive Nile, and 
hoards those of a deficient one to be used at need on 
the neighboring lands. He stocks this lake with fish, 
and so provides for the future queens of Egypt an 
annual revenue of over $200,000 for pin money. The 
banks of Lake Mceris are adorned with orchards, vine- 
yards and gardens, won by its waters from the sur- 
rounding desert. Toward the center of the lake, rising 
three. hundred feet above its surface, stand two pyra- 
mids, and on the apex of each sits a majestic stone 
figure. But pyramid building is going out of style in 
Egypt, and the fashion of obelisks has come in. These 
are made of single blocks of beautiful red granite from 
Syene, and are covered with delicately-carved hiero- 
glyphs. Memphis is losing her precedence. Thebes 
is shining in her first glory, and the Temple of Kar- 
nak, which is to become the most splendid of all times 
and countries, has been commenced ; while, down the 
river, at Beni Hassan,* the favorite princes have built 
tombs which, like cheerful homes, spread their pillared 
porches in the eastern rocky heights. 

Scene IV,— ^ lliehan Dinner Party (time of 
1311-1245 B.C.).— The Labyrinth has stood for nearly 
seven centuries. During this time the Shepherd kings have had their 
sway and been expelled. The XVIHth dynasty, including the long and 

Kameses IL 

* The tombs of Beni Hassan in Middle Egypt are remarkable for their archi- 
tecture, the prototype of the Grecian Doric (p. 182). They are also noticeable for 
being east of the Nile— the other Egyptian tombs, with hardly an exception, being 
located in the west, toward the setting sun— and for not being concealed, as was the 
custom. A recent visitor to these tombs writes : ''Having ascended the broad road 
which leads gradually up to the entrances, we found ourselves on a sort of platform 
cut in the cliff nearly half way to the top, and saw before us about thirty high and 
wide doorways, each leading into one chamber or more, excavated in the solid rock. 
The first we entered was a large square room, with an open pit at one end— the 
mummy pit ; and every inch of the walls was covered with pictures. Coming into 
this tomb was like getting hold of a very old picture-book, which said in the begin- 
ning, ' Open me and I will tell you what people did a long time ago.' Every group 
of figures told a separate story, and one could pass on from group to group till a 
whole life was unfolded. Whenever we could find a spot vvhere the painted plaster 
had not bjeeu blackened or roughened, we were surprised at the variety of the colors 
—delicate lilacs and vivid crimsons and many shades of green." Were it not for 
these pictures on the walls of the tombs we should never have learned the secrets 
of those homes along the Nile where people lived, loved, and died four thousand 
years ago. 


brilliant reign of Thotlimes III., has passed away, leaving behind it 
temples, obelisks and tombs of marvelous magnificence. Thebes is at 
the height of that architectural triumph which is to make her the won- 
der of succeeding ages. Meantime, what of the people ? Let us invite 
ourselves to a dinner-party in Theban high-life. The time is midday, 
and the guests are arriving on foot, in palanquins borne by servant^, 
and in chariots. A high wall, painted in panels, surrounds the fashion- 
able villa, and on an obelisk near by is inscribed the name of the owner. 
We enter the grounds by a folding-gate flanked with lofty towers. 
At the end of a broad avenue bordered by rows of trees and spacious 
water-tanks stands a stuccoed brick * mansion, over the door of which 
we read in hieroglyphics, " The Good House." The building is made 
airy by corridors, and columns, and open courts shaded by awnings, 
all gaily painted and ornamented with banners. Its extensive grounds 
include flower-gardens, vineyards, date-orchards and sycamore groves. 
There are little summer houses, and artificial ponds from which rises 
the sweet, sleepy perfume of the lotus-blossom ; here the genial host 
sometimes amuses his guests by an excursion^n a pleasure-boat towed 
by his servants. The stables and chariot-houses are in the center of 
the mansion, but the cattle-sheds and granaries are detached. 

We will accompany the guest whose chariot has just halted. The 
Egyptian grandee drives his own horse, but is attended by a train of 
servants ; one of these runs forward to knock at the door, another takes 
the reins, another presents a stool to assist his master to alight, and 
others follow with various articles which he may desire during the 
visit. As the guest steps into the court, a servant receives his sandals 
and brings a foot-pan that he may wash his feet. He is then invited 
into the festive chamber, where side by side on a double chair, to which 
their favorite monkey is tied, sit his placid host and hostess, blandly 
smelling their lotus-flowers and beaming a welcome to each arrival. 
They are dressed like their guests. On his shaven head the Egyptian 
gentleman wears a wig with little top-curls, and long cues which hang 
behind. His beard is short — a long one is only for the king. His 
large-sleeved, fluted robe is of fine white linen, and he is adorned with 
necklace, bracelets, and a multitude of finger-rings. The lady by his 
side wears also a linen robe over one of richly -colored stuff. Her hair 
falls to her shoulders front and back, in scores of crisp and glossy 
braids. The brilliancy of her eyes is heightened by antimony ; and 
amulet beetles,! dragons, asps and strange symbolic eyes dangle from 

* The bricks were made of Nile mud mixed with chopped straw and dried in 
the sun. 

t The beetle was a favorite emblem for ornaments. No less than 180 kinds 
of scarabsei are preserved in the Turin Museum alone. It was also engraved on the 
precious stones used as currency between Egypt and neighboring countries.. 

42 EGYPT. . 

her golden earrings, necklace, bracelets and anklets. Having saluted 
his entertainers, the new-comer is seated on a low stool, where a ser- 
vant anoints his bewigged head with sweet-scented ointment, hands 
him a lotus-blossom, hangs garlands of flowers on his neck and head, 
and presents him with wine. The servant, as he receives back the 
emptied vase and offers a napkin, politely remarks, "May it benefit 
you." This completes the formal reception. 

Each lady is attended in the same manner by a female slave. While 
the guests are arriving, the musicians and dancers belonging to the 
household amuse the company, who sit on chairs in rows and chat, the 
ladies commenting on each others' jewelry, and, in compliment, ex 
changing lotus-flowers. The house is furnished with couches, arm- 
chairs, ottomans and footstools made of the native acacia or of ebony 
and other rare imported woods, inlaid with ivory, carved in animal 
forms, and cushioned or covered with leopard skins. The ceilings are 
stuccoed and painted, and the panels of the walls adorned with colored 
designs. The tables are of various sizes and fanciful patterns. The 
floor is covered with a palm-leaf matting or wool carpet. In the bed- 
rooms are high couches reached by steps ; the pillows are made of wood 
or alabaster (see cut, p. 29). There are many elegant toilet conveniences, 
such as polished bronze mirrors, fancy bottles for the kohl with which 
the ladies stain their brows and eyelids, alabaster vases for sweet- 
scented ointments, and trinket-boxes shaped like a goose, a fish, or a 
human dwarf. Everywhere throughout the house is a profusion of 
flowers, hanging in festoons, clustered on stands, and crowning the 
wine-bowl. Not only the guests but the attendants are wreathed, and 
fresh blossoms are constantly brought in from the garden to replace 
those which are fading. 

And now the ox, kid, geese and ducks which, according to custom, 
have been hurried into the cooking-caldrons as soon as killed, are 
ready to be served. After band-washing and saying of grace, the 
guests are seated on stools, chairs, or the floor, one or two at each 
little low, round table. The dishes, many of which are vegetables, 
are brought on in courses, and the guests, having neither knife nor 
fork, help themselves with their fingers. Meantime, a special corps 
of servants keep the wine and water cool by vigorously fanning the 
porous jars which contain them. During the repast, when the enjoy- 
ment is at its height, the Osiris — an image like a human mummy — is 
brought in and formally introduced to each visitor with the reminder 
that life is short, and all must die. This little episode does not in the 
least disturb the placidity of the happy guests. There is one, how- 
ever, to whom the injunction is not given, and who, though anointed 
and garlanded and duly installed at a table, does not partake of the 
delicacies set before him. This is a real mummy, a dear deceased 


member of the family, whom the host is keeping some months before 
burial, being loth to part with him. It is in his honor, indeed, that 
the relatives and friends are assembled, and the presence of a beloved 
mummy, whose soul is journeying toward the Pools of Peace, is the 
culminating pleasure of an Egyptian dinner-party. 


1. Political History. — Our earliest glimpse of Egypt is of a 
country already civilized. Menes, the first of the Pharaohs, changed 
the course of the Nile and founded Memphis. His successor was a 
physician and wrote books on anatomy. Kliufu, Shafra,and Menkara 
of the IVth dynasty, built the three Great Pyramids at Gizeh. In their 
time there were already an organized civil and military service and an 
established religion. From the Vlth to the Xlth dynasty the monu- 
ments are few and history is silent. Thebes then became the center 
of power. The Xllth dynasty produced Lake Moeris and the Laby- 
rinth, and waged war against the Ethiopians. Meanwhile the Hyksos 
invaded Lower Egypt and soon conquered the land. At last a Theban 
monarch drove out the barbarian strangers. The XVIIIth and XlXth 
dynasties raised Egypt to the height of her glory. Thothmes, Amunoph, 
Seti, and, chief of all, Rameses II., covered the land with magnificent 
works of art, and carried the Egyptian arms in triumph to the depths 
of Asia. After the XXth dynasty Egypt began to decline. Her weak 
kings fell in turn before the Ethiopians, the Assyrians, and, finally, 
the Persians. The illustrious line of the Pharaohs was at length swal- 
lowed up in the Empire of Persia (see note, p. 46). 

2. General Character of Egyptian Civilization.— In sum- 
ming up our general impressions of Egypt, we recall as characteristic 
features, her Pyramids, Obelisks, Sphinxes, Gigantic Stone Statues, 
Hieroglyphics, Sacred Animals and Mummies, We think of her wor- 
shipped kings, her all-powerful priests, and her Nile-watered land 
divided between king, priests, and soldiers. We remember that in her 
fondness for inscriptions, she overspread the walls of her palaces and 
the pillars of her temples with hieroglyphics, and erected monuments 
for seemingly no other purpose than to cover them with writing. We 
see her tombs cut in the solid rock of the hillside and carefully con- 
cealed from view, bearing on their inner walls painted pictures of 
home life. Her nobility are surrounded by refinement and luxuries 
which we are startled to find existing 4000 years ago ; and her com- 
mon people crowd a land where food is abundant, clothing little 
needed, and the sky a sufficient shelter. 

We have found her architecture of the true Hamite type, colossal. 

44 EGYPT. 

massive and enduring ; her art stiff, constrained and lifeless ; her 
priest-taught schools giving special attention to writing and mathe- 
matics ; her literature chiefly religious, written on papyrus-scrolls, 
and collected in libraries ; her arts and inventions numerous, including 
weaving, dyeing, mining and working precious metals, making glass 
and porcelain, enameling, engraving, tanning and embossing leather, 
working with potter's clay, and embalming the dead. Seeing her 
long valley inundated each year by the Nile, she made herself pro- 
ficient in mathematics and mensuration, erected dykes, established 
Nilometers, appointed public commissioners, and made a god of the 
river which, since it seldom rains in Egypt, gives the land its only 
fertility. Her relij?ion, having many gods growing out of one, 
taught a judgment after death, with immortality and transmigration 
of soul ; its characteristic form was a ceremonial worship of animals as 
emblems or incarnations of Deity. Finally, as a people, the Egyp- 
tians were in disposition mild, unwarlike, superstitiously religious , 
in habits cleanly, luxurious, and delighting in flowers ; in mind sub- 
tle, acute, self-poised ; in social life talkative, given to festivals, and 
loud in demonstrations of grief; having a high conception of morals, 
a respect for woman, a love of literature, and a domestic affection 
which extended to a peculiar fondling of their mummied dead. 


BrugsdCs Egypt under the Pharaohs.— BvnserC s Egypt's Place in the Worlcfs 
History.— Birch's Egypt from the Earliest Times, and Egypt from the Monuments.— 
Wilkinson's Manners and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians.— Herodotus, Rawlin- 
son's Translation with Notes.— Rawlinson's Origin of Nations, and Manual of 
Ancient History. — Lenormant and CJievallier's Ancient History of the East. — 
Buruy, Histoire Ancienne.— Records of the Past (5 vols, of Egyptian Texts, Transla- 
tions of Inscriptions, etc ).— Handy Book of the British Museum. — Egypt over 3300 . 
Years Ago {Illustrated Library of Wonders).— Keary's The Dawn of History.— 
Lilbke's History of Art.— Westropp's Handbook of Archceology. — Fergusson's History 
of Architecture.— Early Egyptian History fw the Young {Macmillan, London).— 
Zerffi's Historical Development of Art.— George Ebers's An Egyptian Princess.^ The 
Sisters, and Uar da {valuable historicai romances).— Rule's Oriental Records. 



Menes founded Memphis about 2700 

Old Empire 2700-2080 

Hyksos invaded Lower Egypt, about 2080 

Middle Empire 2080-1525 

Hyksos Rule, about 1900-1525 

New Empire 1525- 527 

Persian Conquest 527 

^v g Tubal ^ „. 

j_^^^&. « Ij.'^ . Ararat 

P^^J ppfADOCiA *-- '^' e N 1,A 
_^ O f^ "^ '^ ^ 



lamafh '*^' 

•Tiianior ^"^s 

A. (Palmyra; 

f r °^ 

^ -^ ASSYRIAN ^ ^ 


700 B.C. 

RUbbtLL & STKUThERS, tNQ'b N.Y. 



The Origin of the first nations which flourished in the 
valley of the Tigris and Euphrates may have been as ancient 
as the Egyptian civilization ; but the historic records reveal 
nothing back of the 24th century. 

1. Chaldea. — Amid a mixed population of Accadians — 
Hamites of the race of Gush (Gen. x.) — Turanians, Semites 
and others inhabiting the vast plain at the head of the Per- 
sian Gulf, there arose a mighty hunter named Nimrod. He 
organized the separate tribes under a single strong govern- 
ment, and founded Babylon about 2300 B.C. Afterward, 
perhaps to escape the Cushite rule, many of the Semitic 

Geor/raphical Qtiesfiofis.—'LocdLtQ Nineveh, Babylon, Tadmor, Damascus. 
Where were the four cities founded by Nimrod — Babylon, Erech or OrchOe, Accad 
and Calneh (' Ur of the Chaldees ") ? What was the direct distance from Memphis or 
Thebes to Babylon ? Describe the Euphrates river. The Tigi-is. State the location 
of Mesopotamia, Chaldea, Babylonia, Assyria and Susiana. Ans. Mesopotamia 
(between the rivers) comprised the gi-eat rolling plain lying between the Jluphrates 
and the Tigris ; Babylonia, or Lower Mesopotamia, included the rich alluvial plain 
south of Assyria, bounded on the west by the Arabian desert and on the south 
by the Persian Gulf ; Chaldea was the southern portion of Babylonia ; Susiana lay 
southeast of Assyria and east of Babylonia. Describe the geographical appearance 
of Babylonia. Ans. This country did not, like Egypt, consist of a long, narrow 
valley shut in by hills, but of a vast, monotonous plain. This was the gift of the 
Tigris and the Euphrates, and these rivers were the characteristic feature of the 
landscape. The soil was an alluvium deposited by the streams in the shallow waters 
of the gulf, forming a tract of marvellous fertility. Wheat was native to the soil and 
grew BO luxuriantly that its blade was the width of the palm, and to make the plant 
ear, the inhabitants were accustomed to mow it twice and then feed it off with 


foreign cattle and vegetable prpducts, and constructed canals. 
He multiplied the war-chariots, and carried the Assyrian 
arms to the Persian mountains on the east and northern 
Syria on the west ; * but he was defeated by the Babylonians, 
who bore off his idols to their capital, where they were kept 
for four hundred years. AssJnir-izir-pal (Sardanapalus I., 
886-858), a cruel but magnificent king, made many con- 
quests, but is to be chiefly remembered in connection with 
the arts, which he raised to a point never before attained. 
He lined his palace walls (Nimroud) with great alabaster 
slabs, whereon were sculptured in spirited bas-relief the 
various glories he had achieved. He was a hunter as well as 
a warrior and an art-patron, and kept a royal menagerie, 
where he gathered all the wild beasts he could procure from 
his own and foreign lands. 

Slialmaneser \ II. was contemporary with Ahab and Jehu, 
kings of Israel ; he personally conducted twenty-four mili- 
tary campaigns. Vul-lush III. (810-781) married Sam- 
muramit, heiress of Babylon, and probably the original of 

* A lengthy document written by Tiglalh-pileser, narrating some events of his 
reign has been discovered. He writes : " The country of Kasiyara, a difScult region, 
I passed through. With their 20,000 men and their five kings I engaged. I defeated 
them. The ranks of their warriors in fighting the battle were beaten down as if by 
the tempest. Their carcasses covered the valleys and the tops of the mountains. I 
cut off" their heads. Of the battlements of their cities I made heaps, like mounds of 
earth. Their movables, their wealth, and their valuables I plundered to a countless 
amount. Six thousand of their common soldiers I gave to my men as slaves." 
Having restored two ancient temples, he invokes the support of the gods, and adds : 
" The list of my victories and the catalogue of my triumphs over foreigners hostile 
to Asshur I have inscribed on my tablets and cylinders. Whoever shall abrade or 
injure my tablets and cylinders, or shall moisten them with water, or scorch them 
with fire, or expose them to the air, or in the holy place of God shall assign 
them to a place where they cannot be seen or understood, or shall erase the writing 
and inscribe his ovm name, or shall divide the sculptures and break them off from 
my tablets, may Anu and Vul, the great gods, my lords, consign his name to per- 
dition ! May they curse him with an irrevocable curse ! May they pluck out the 
stability of the throne of his empire ! May not his offspring survive him ! May his 
servants be broken ! May his troops be defeated I May his name and his race 
perish I " 

t In connection with Shalmaneser and the following kings, read carefully 2 Kings, 
xv-xix chapters. 


the mythical "Semiramis." According to the legend, this 
queen having conquered Egypt and part of Ethiopia, invaded 
India with an army of a million men, but was beaten back 
by elephants ; she adorned Babylon with wonderful works, 
and at last took the form of a dove and flew away. Tiglath- 
pileser 11. (745-727) captured Damascus and conquered 
Ahaz, king of Judah. Shalmaneser IV. (727-721) laid siege 
to Samaria, which was taken by his successor, Sargon (721- 
705), who carried oif its inhabitants and supplied their place 
with captive Babylonians. 

Sargon founded the house of the Sargonidae, who were the 
most brilliant df the AssjTian kings, and who made all the 
neighboring nations feel the weight of their conquering 
arms. He, himself, so subdued the Egyptians that they 
were never afterward the jDOwerful nation they had been ; 
he also reduced Syria, Babylonia, and a great part of Media 
and Susiana. His son, the proud, haughty and self-confi- 
dent Sennacherib (Sen-nak'-e-rib, 705-680), captured the 
"fenced cities of Judah," but afterward lost 185,000 men, 
" smitten by the angel of the Lord " in a single night. The 
sculptures represent him as standing in his chariot per- 
sonally directing the forced labor of his workmen, who were 
war-captives, often loaded with fetters. EsarJiaddon, Sar- 
gon 's grandson, divided Egypt into petty states, took Ma- 
nasseh, king of Judah, prisoner to Babylon (2 Chron, xxxiii. 
11), and more fully settled Samaria with colonists from 
Babylonia, Persia, and Susiana. Asshur-iani-pal (Sarda- 
napalus II, 667-647),* Sargon's gi-eat-grandson, was a famous 
warrior, builder and art-patron. He erected a magnificent 
palace at Nineveh, in which he founded a royal library. 

* As the Greeks confounded several Egyptian monarchs nnder the name of 
Sesostris the Great, eo the Assyrian king whom they called Sardanapa^us seems to 
have been a union of Asshurizirpal. Asshurbanipal and Asshnremedilin. The Greek 
ideal Sardanapalus is celebrated in Byron's well-known play of that name. 


His son, Asshur-emed'ilin, or Saracus, as he was called by 
some Greek writers (p. 47), was the last Assyrian king. 

3. Later Babylonian Empire {^'ib-bd^),—Nahopolasser, 
a favorite general under Saracus, obtained from his master 
the government of Babylon. Here he organized a revolt, 
and made an alliance with Cyaxares, king of the Medes ; in 
625 B.C., their combined forces captured Nineveh. The 
conquerors divided the spoils between them, and to Nabo- 


polasser fell Phoenicia, Palestine, Syria, Susiana, and the 
Euphrates valley. Babylon, after the ruin of its rival, 
became again the capital of the East. It held this position 
for nearly a century, when it was captured by Cyrus the 
Great (538 B.C.). 

The Names of two of its kings are familiar to every 
Bible reader. Nebuchadnezzar (604-561), the son of Nabo- 
polasser, gave the new empire its character and position. 
Without him Babylon would have had little, if any, history 
worth recording. A great warrior, he captured Jerusalem,* 
overran Egypt, and, after a thirteen-years siege, subdued 
Tyre. A great builder, he restored or repaired almost every 
temple and city in the country. By his marvelous energy 
Babylon became five or six times the present size of London ; 

• " Israel is a scattered sheep : first the king of Assyria hath devoured him ; and 
last this Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, hath broken his bones."— «7<?remioA 1, 17. 

538b.C.] -• THE CIVILIZATIOI^-. '51 

and its walls* and hanging gardens (p. 58) were among the 
Seven Wonders of the World (Appendix). Immense lakes 
were dug for retaining the water of the Euphrates, whence 
a network of canals distributed it over the plain to irrigate 
the land ; while quays and breakwaters were constructed 
along the Persian Gulf for the encouragement of commerce.* 
Belshazzar held the throne jointly with his father, Nabona- 
dius, the last king of Babylon. Cyrus, ruler of the rising 
empire of the Medes and Persians, inyaded the country, 
defeated the army of N'abonadius, and finally besieged Bel- 
shazzar in Babylon. One night when the Babylonians were 
celebrating a festival with drunken revelry, Cyrus, by means 
of canals which he had dug for this purpose, changed the 
course of the Euphrates, which ran through the city. The 
Persians rushed along the empty bed of the river, seized the 
unguarded gates and captured the place. From that time 
Babylon was a province of the Persian Empire and its glory 
faded. To-day the site is marked only by shapeless mounds 
scattered over a desolate plain. 


Society. — In Assyria there were no castes or hereditary aris- 
tocracy, as m Egypt, but all subjects, foreign and native, had equal 
privileges, dependent upon the one absolute royal will. 

The King^ though not worshipped as a god, was considered " the 
earthly vicegerent of the gods," having undisputed authority over 
the souls as well as the bodies of his people. 

The chief courtiers were eunuchs, who directed the public affairs, 
leaving the king undisturbed to enjoy his sports and pleasures. 
They, however, held their offices at his caprice, and were liable 
at any moment to be removed. The people had the privilege of 

* Read the Scriptural account of Babylon and its king^ in Daniel ; Isaiah, chap- 
ters 10, 11, 13, 14, 21, 45, 46, 47, and es^pecially 19, 2.3 ; Jeremiah, chaps. 49, 50 and 51 ; 
2 Kings, chaps. 24, 25 ; Ezra, chaps. 1-6. 



^ direct petition to the king in case of pjublic wrong or 

^Z neglect.* 

In Babylonia^ where there was a mixed population, 
society was divided into castes, of which the highest, 
the ancient Chaldean, was not unlike that of the Egyp- 

^^ 2 ti^" priesthood. The Chaldeans read the warnings 

T^ ^ of the stars, interpreted dreams and omens, gave instruc- 
g ^ tions in the art of magic and incantation, and conducted 
x/' I § the pompous religious ceremonies. They also decided 
s I politics, commanded the armies, and held the chief state 
•^ P J offices. From them came all the royal rulers of Babylon. 
^~ M .M The king was as despotic as in Assyria, and Baby- 

^ X ^ Ionian nobles at every slight offence trefnbled for their 
fc- 5 ^ heads. The whole Chaldean caste were once ordered to 
44l Q I be exterminated because they could not expound the 
™ I I dream of a king which he himself could not recall 

i r^ (Daniel ii. 12). 
Sy »< 3 Merchants, artisans and husbandmen formed each a 
A ^1 caste. The fishermen of the marshes near the Persian 
YY I I Grulf corresponded to the swine-herds in Egypt, as 
a1 "^ < being lowest in the social scale. They lived on earth- 
^►- " a covered rafts, which they floated among the reeds, and 
*pp ° * subsisted on a species of cake made of dried fish. 
aT 2 j: "Wvitui^. — Cuneiform Letters (cuneus, a wedge). — 

^ h -M Clay Tablets. — The earliest form of this writing, in- 
►r E 1 vented by the Turanians, was, like the Egyptian, a col- 
►^ ^ lection of rude pictures, with this peculiarity, that they 
i*T-j- were all straight-lined and angular as if devised to be 

it^i^ cut on stone with a chisel. The Chaldeans, having no 

stone in their countiy, made of the clay in which it 
abounded tiny pillow-shaped tablets, from one to five 
inches long. Upon these soft, moist tablets they traced 


* A tablet in the British Museum thus exposes an official peculation in the time 
of Asshurbanipal : "Salutation to the king, my lord, fi*om his humble petitioner, 
Zikar Nebo. To the king, my lord, may Asshur, Sharaash, Bel, Zarpanit, Nebo, 
Tashmit, Ishtar of Nineveh, Ishtar of Arbela, the great gods, protectors of royalty, 
give a hundred years of life to the king, my lord, and slaves and wives in great 
number to the king, my lord. The gold that in the month Tashrit the minister of 
state and the controller of the palace should have given me— three talents of pure 
gold and' four talents of alloyed gold— to make an image of the king and of the 
mother of the king, has not yet been given. May my lord, the king, give orders 
to the minister of state and to the controller of the palace, to give the gold, to give 
it from this time, and do it exactly." 



the outline of the original object-picture, in a series of distinct, 
wedge-like impressions made by the square or triangular point 
of a small bronze or iron tool. As in Egypt, the attempt to pre- 
serve the picture-outline was gradually abandoned, and the charac- 
ters, variously modified by the different- 
speaking races inhabiting Assyria, came 
to have a variety of meanings.* Cunei- 
form writing has been found even more 
difficult to interpret than Egyptian 
hieroglyphics. It has some of the pe- 
culiarities of that writing, but has no 
letter-signs ; the cuneiform-writing na- 
tions never advancing so far as to 
analyze the syllable into vowels and 
consonants. Nearly three hundred dif- 
ferent characters have been deciphered, 
and a large number remain yet un- 
known. f 

Other Writing Materials^ as Alabas- 
ter Slabs, Terra-cotia Cylinders, Cylin- 
der Signets, etc. — The Assyrian clay- 
tablets were generally larger than the 
Chaldean, and for the royal records 
slabs of fine stone were preferred. Assyrian clay tablet. 

* Generally all trace of the original picture disappeared, but in a few cases, such as 
the outline is still visible. A curious example of the picto- 

rial origin of the letters is 
furnished by the character 


which is the 

French w/ie, the feminine of " one." Tliis character may be traced back through 
several known forms to an original picture on a Koyunjik tablet 3 P 

where it appears as a double -toothed comb. As this was a toilet aracie pecujiar lo 
women, it became the sign of the feminine gender. 

t The Behistun Inscnption furnished the key to Assyrian literature as did the 
Rosctta stone to Egyptian. This inscription was carved by ordeu of Darius Hys- 
tasp'es (p. SI) on the precipitous side of a high rock-mountain in Media, 300 feet 
above its base. It is in three languages, Persian, Median, and Assyrian. The Per- 
sian, which is the simplest of the cuneiform writings, having been mastered, it 
became, like the Greek on the Rosctta Stone, a lexicon to the other two languages. 
Honorably connected with tiie opening up of the Assyrian language in the present 
century, are the names of Sir Henry Rsiwlinson, who at great personal risk scaled the 
Behistun mountain and made a copy of the inscription which he afterwards pub- 
lished ; and M. Oppert, who systematized the newly-discovered language, and founded 
an Assyrian grammar for the use of modem scholars. 



These slabs were used as panels in palace walls, where they set 
forth the glorious acliievements of the Assyrian monarchs. Even 
where figures were sculptured upon the panels, the royal vanity 
was not deterred, and the self-glorifying narrations were carried 
uninterruptedly across mystic baskets, sacred trees, and the dresses 
of worshipping kings and eagle-headed deities. The colossal 
alabaster bulls and lions which guarded the palace 
portals were also inscribed, and formal invocations 
to the gods were written on hollow terra-cotta 
cylinders, from eighteen to thirty-six inches high, 
which w^ere placed in the temple corners. The 
lines were sometimes more closely compacted 
than those in this paragraph, and the characters 
so fine that a magnifying glass is required to read 
them. Little cylinders made of jasper, chalcedony 
or other stone were engraved and used as seals by 
rolling them across the clay tablets. There is no 
positive proof that anything like paper or parch- 
ment was ever in use among the Assyrians, though the ruins furnish 
indirect testimony that it may have been employed in rare instances. 
Literature. — Libraries. — An Assyrian or Babylonian book con- 
sisted of several flat, square clay-tablets written on both sides, care- 
fully paged, and piled one upon another in order. Asshurbanipal, 
who as patron of arts and literature was to Assyria what Rameses II. 
had been to Egypt 600 years before, established an extensive public 
library * in his palace at Nineveh. Many of the books were copied 
from borrowed Babylonian tablets, but a large number were evi- 
dently composed under his royal patronage. He gathered works 
on geography, history, law, mathematics, astronomy, astrology, 
botany and zoology. Complete lists of plants, trees, metals and 
minerals were prepared ; also a catalogue of every known species of 
animals, classified in families and genera. " We may well be aston- 
ished," says Lenormant, " to learn that the Assyrians had already 
Invented a scientific nomenclature, similar in principle to that of 


* " Palace of Asshurbanipal, king of the world, king of Assyria, to whom the 
god Nebo and the goddess Tashmit (the goddess of wisdom) have given ears to hear 
and eyes to see what is the foundation of government. They have revealed to the 
kings, my predecessors, this cuneiform writing, the manifestation of the god Nebo, 
the god of supreme intelligence. I have written it upon tablets, I have signed it, I 
have placed it in my palace for the instruction of my subjects." — (Inscription.) One 
of the bricks of this library contains a notice that vi iioi^s are requested to give to t?ie 
librarian the number of the book they wish to consult, and it will be brought to them. 


Linnseus." Here, also, were religious books explaining the name, 
functions, and attributes of each god ; magical incantations with 
which to charm away evil spirits ; and sacred poems, resembling in 
style the Psalms of David. Among the records copied from Baby- 
lonian tablets, which were already antiquities in the time of Asshur- 
banipal, were the Chaldean accounts of the Creation, the Fall of 
Man, and the Flood, which in many points are strikingly like the 
narrative in Genesis, though written hundreds of years before Moses 
was bora. Most numerous of all were the various gram.matical 
works. The Assyrians found their own language so complex, that 
lexicons and grammars were multiplied in efforts to explain and 
simplify it ; and these books, written to aid the Assyrian learner over 
2500 years ago, have been found invaluable in opening the long-lost 
language to the student of to-day. All this vast collection of tablets, 
gathered with so much care by Asshurbanipal, fell with the palace 
in the self-destruction of his son, Saracus, and were mostly broken 
into fragments.* 

Monuments and Art.— As the Chaldeans had no stone, they 
made theiF edifices of burnt or sun-dried bricks, strengthening the 
walls by layers of reed matting cemented with bitumen. Their tem- 
ples were built in stories, each one smaller in area than the one below, 
tlius forming an irregular pyramid. In later times the number of 
stories increased, and the outer walls of Babylonian temples were 
painted in colors consecrated to the heavenly bodies. That of Nebo 
at Borsippa t had its lowest stage black (Saturn) ; the next orange 
(Jupiter); then red (Mars), gold (the sun), yellow .(Venus), blue 
(Mercury), and silver (the moon). The gold and silver "stages seem 

* "The clay tablets lay under the ruined palace in such multitudes that they 
filled the chambers to the height of a loot or more from the floor. The documents 
thus discovered at Nir.eveh probably exceed in amount of writing all that has yet 
been afforded by the monuments of Egypt." {LayardCs Nineveh). To Austen Henry 
Layard, an En-rlish Archaeologist, we are chiefly indebted for the wonderful dis- 
coveries made in exploring the mounds which mark the site of Nineveh. The British 
Mnseum has a magnificent collection of Assyrian antiquities recovered from these 
mounds, wh::;le rooms being lined with the alabaster slabs exhumed from the ruins 
of the palaces of Asshurizirpal at Nimrond, Sennacherib and his grandson Asshur- 
banipal at Koyunjik, and Sargon at Khorsabad. Most of the remains of Sargon's 
palace, however, are deposited in the Louvre at Paris, having been excavated for the 
French government by M. Botta, who has the honor of having made (in 1843) the 
first discovery of an Assyrian monument. 

t Borsippa was a town near Babylon. Some authorities include the ruins of this 
temple, now called the Birs-i-Nimrud, within the outer wall of Babylon, and believe 
it to have been the true Temple of Belus (p. 59), if not the actual Tower of Babel. 
A. mound called Babil, near the Great Palace, is the other disputed site. 



to have been covered with thin plates of those metals. Either the 
sides or the angles of these structures exactly faced the cardinal 
points, and the base was strengthened by brick buttresses scientifi- 
cally arranged. The royal name and titles were engraved upon each 





.r' ^, 


The Assyrians made their temples simple adjuncts to their palaces, 
where they were used as observatories. Here the priestly astrolo- 
gers consulted the stars, and no enterprise was undertaken, however 
it might otherwise promise success, unless the heavens were declared 
favorable. Following the example of their Chaldean instructors, 
the Assyrians continued to build with brick, though they had an 
abundance of excellent stone. Their edifices, placed, like those in 
Chaldea, upon high artificial mounds of earth, were encased with 
bricks used while still soft, so that they adhered to one another 
without cement, and formed a single, compact mass. As their 
palaces were constructed of this same weak material, which was 
liable to disintegrate within twenty or thirty years, they were obliged 
to make the walls enormously thick, the halls narrow and low as 
compared with their length, and to limit the height to one story. 
The roof Avas loaded with earth as a protecticAi from the fierce sum- 
mer sun and the heavy winter rains. Their building-plan was 
always the same. Around immense square courts were arranged 
halls or chambers of different sizes opening into one another. These 
halls, though never more than 40 feet wide, were sometimes 180 feet 

THE ClYlL12ATI0]Sf . 


in length. The sides were lined with alabaster slabs, from eight to 
fifteen feet high, covered with elaborate sculptures illustrating the 
sports, prowess, and religious devotion of the king; above these 
were enameled bricks. The 
court-yards were paved 
with chiseled stone or 
painted bricks, and the 
beams of Lebanon cedar 
were sometimes overlaid 
with silver or gold. The 
courts themselves were or- 
namented by gigantic sculp- 
tures, and the artificial 
mound was edged by a ter- 
raced wall. Sennacherib's 
palace at Koyunjik was 
only second in size and 
g^'andeur to the palace-tem- 
ple at Karnak. The ruling 
idea in Assyrian architec- 
ture, however, was not, as in 
the Egyptian, that of mag- 
nitude, much less of dura- 
bility, but rather of close 
and finished ornamenta- 
tion; the bas-reliefs being 
wrought out with a minute- 
ness of detail which ex- 
tended to the flowers and 
rosettes on a king's gar- 
ment or the intricate pat- 
tern of his carved footstool. 
But Assyrian alabaster was 
far easier to manage than 
Egyptian granite, and where 
masses of hard stone like 
basalt were used, to which 

the Egyptians would give the finish of a cameo, the Assyrians pro- 
duced only coarse and awkward effects. A few stone obelisks have 
been found — one only, the Black Obelisk of Nimroud, being in per- 
fect preservation. In statuary, the Assyrians signally failed, and in 



drawing they had no better idea of perspective than the Egyptians. 
In their water-scenes the fishes are as large as the ships, and the 
birds in the woods are half as tall as the men who hunt them. 
They excelled in bas-relief, in which they profusely detailed their 
religious ideas, home life, royal greatness and mechanical achieve- 
ments. In general, as compared. with Egyptian art, the Assyrian 
was much more progressive, and had greater life, fi'eedom, variety 
and taste. 

Walls, Temple, Palaces, and Ilanrjing Gardens of Bahylon. — The 
wall of this great city fonned a square, each side of which was, 
according to Herodotus, 14 miles long, 93 feet thick, and 373 feet 
high.* Twenty-five brass gates opened from each of the four sides 
upon straight, wide streets, which extended across the city, dividing 
it into squares. A space was left free from buildings for some dis- 
tance next the walls ; within that, beautiful gardens, orchards, and 
fields alternated with lofty dwellings. The broad Euphrates, instead 
of skirting the city as did the Tigris at Nineveh, ran midway through 
the town, and was guarded by two brick walls with brass gates 
opening upon steps which led down to the water. The river-banks 
were lined throughout with brick-and-bitumen quays, and the 
stream was crossed by ferries, and, during the day, by a succession 
of drawbridges resting on stone piers. 

Either side of the Euphrates rose a majestic palace, built upon 
a high platfoi-m, and surrounded by triple walls a quarter of a 
mile apart. The outer wall of the larger palace was nearly seven 
miles in circumference. The inner walls were faced with enameled 
brick, representing hunting scenes in gayly-colored figures larger 
than life. The glory of the palace was its Hanging Gardens, imi- 
tated from those in Assyria, and built by Nebuchadnezzar to please 
his Median queen, who i3iued for her native liills. Tliey consisted 
of a series of platforms resting on arches, and rising one above the 
other till the summit overtopped the city walls. The soil with 
which they were covered was deep enough to sustain not only 
flowers and shrubs, but the largest trees, so that the effect was that 
of a mountain clothed in verdure. The structure was ascended by 
broad stairs, and on the several terraces, among fountains, groves, 
and fragrant shrubs, were stately apartments, in whose cool shade 

* Other authorities reduce this estimate, making the circumference of the wall 
about forty miles and its height less than a hundred feet. In Alexander's time, after 
the wear and tear of centuries and the violence of the great Persian conquerors, the 
wall still stood over seventy feet high. 


the queen might rest while making the tour of her novel pleasure- 
ground. The Temple of Belus was also surrounded by a wall having 
brass gates. Witliin the sacred enclosure, but outside the building, 
were two altars for sacrifice, one of stone and one of gold. At the 
base of the tower — which was a huge, solid mass of brick-work — 
w^as a chapel containing a sitting image of Bel, a golden stand and 
table, and a human figure eighteen feet high, made of solid gold. 
The ascent was from the outside, and on the summit was the sacred 
shrine, containing three great golden images of Bel, Beltis and Ishtar 
(p. 61). There were also two golden lions, tw^o enormous silver 
serpents and a golden table forty feet long and fifteen broad, besides 
drinking-cups, censers, and a golden bowl for each deity. 

Practical Arts and Inventions. — Agriculture was carried 
to a high degree of perfection in both countries, and the system of 
irrigation was so complete that it has been said " not a drop of water 
was allowed to be lost." Their brilliantly-dyed and icoven duffs^ 
especially the Babylonian carpets, were celebrated throughout the 
ancient world ; and the elaborate designs of their embroideries 
served as models for the earliest Grecian vases. In metal worh they 
were far advanced, and they must have possessed the art of casting 
vast masses, since their town and palace-gates are said to have been 
of bronze. Where great strength was required, as in the legs of 
tripods and tables, the bronze was cast over iron, an ingenious art 
unknown to moderns until it was learned and imitated from Assyrian 
antiquities. The beams and furniture of palaces were often cased 
with bronze, and long bronze friezes with fantastic figures in relief 
adorned the palace halls. Gold^ silver and hronze vases, beautifully 
chased, were important articles of commerce, as was also the Assyrian 
pottery, which, being enameled by an entirely different process from 
that of Egypt, and having a finer paste, brighter hue and thinner 
body, was largely exported to the latter countiy during the XVIIIth 
dynasty. Mineral tints w^ere used for coloring. Assyrian terra-cotta 
was remarkably fine and pure. 

Transparent glass was in use in the time of Sargon. A rock- 
crystal lens has been found at Nimroud, the only object of its kind 
as yet discovered among the remains of antiqiyty. In gem-cutting 
the Assyrians decidedly excelled the Egyptians, and the exceeding 
minuteness of some work on seals implies the use of powerful mag- 

Most of the mechanical powers whereby heavy weights have com- 
monly been moved and raised among civilized nations were under 


stood.* The Assyrians imported their steel and iron tools from the 
neighboring provinces of the Caucasus, where steel had long been 
manufactured; the carved ivories which ornamented their palaces 
probably came from Phoenicia. It will be seen that in all the com- 
mon arts and appliances of life the Assyrians were at least on a par 
with the Egyptians, while in taste they greatly excelled not only 
that nation, but all the Orientals. It must not be forgotten, how- 
ever, that Egyptian civilization was over a thousand years old when 
Assyria was in its infancy. 


General Character. — The Assyrians were brave, hardy, aggres- 
sive, proud and haughty. Isaiah calls them a "fierce people," and 
Nahum speaks of Nineveh as " full of lies and robbery/' from which 
we infer that they were violent and treacherous. The Babylonians, 
also, were characterized as "terrible and dreadful, going through the 
breadth of the land to possess the dwelling-places that are not theirs." 
Less disciplined than the Assyrians, they marched with great tumult ; 
their chariots were "like the whirlwind," and "their horses swifter 
than the leopards and more fierce than the evening wolves." Though 
so "bitter and hasty" in march, they were patient and persistent in 
sieges, sitthig before Tyre thirteen years. To their captives they were 
savage and i>itiless. In peace they were " tender and delicate, given 
to pleasures, exceeding in dyed attire upon their heads." Even more 
proud and cruel than the Assyrians, their covetousness and luxurious 
indulgences became a proverb. They were fond of giving banquets 
in their brilliantly-painted saloons, where their visitors, clothed in 
scarlet robes and resplendent in cosmetics and jewelry, trod on carpets 
which were the envy of the ancient world, and were served with rich 
meats and luscious fruits on gold and silver plates. The guests were 
not garlanded, as in Egypt, but a profusion of flowers in elegant vases 
adorned the rooms. Meantime, while the air was filled with music 
and heavy with perfumes, the merry revellers drank deeply of the 
abundant wine, and loudly sang the praises of their favorite gods. 

In pleasant contrast to their dissipation, appear their learning, enter- 

* The Assyrians wrought all the elaborate carvings of their colossi before raoving 
tnem. They then stood the figure on a wooden sledge, supporting it by heavy frame- 
work and bracing it with ropes and beams. The sledge was moved over rollers by 
gangs of men, levers and wedges being used to facilitate its progress. The entire 
process of transporting a colossal stone bull is graphically pictured in an extensive 
bas-relief found at Koyunjik, and now in the Britislx Museum. 


prise and honesty in trade. In their intercourse with strangers, they 
are said to have cultivated calmness of manner, a virtue probably not 
natural to them, but which was founded upon an intense pride in 
their superior culture and scientific attainments. 

Religion. — The Assyrians and Babylonians were both, in an idola- 
trous way, religious nations, though much less ^o than the Egyptians. 
The sun, moon, and jdanets were conspicuous among their gods. 
Their ideas of one First Cause or Deity were even more obscure than 
those of the Egyptians, and although 11 or Ra, who stood at the head 
of the Chaldean Pantheon, was vaguely considered as the fount or 
origin of Deity, there were several other self-originated gods, each 
supreme over his own sphere. 11 was too dimly comprehended to be 
popular, and had apparently no temple in Chaldea. 

Two Triads were next in rank. The first comprised Ana, the lord 
of spirits and demons, who represented original chaos ; Bel or Bel- 
Nimrod, the hunter, lord and organizer of the world ; and Hoa, the 
lord of the abyss and regulator of the universe. The 
second triad embraced Sin, the moon-god ; San (called in 
Assyria Shamas), the sun-god ; and Vul, the air-god. Each 
god had a wife who received her share of divine honors. 
After these came the five planetary deities : JSln or Saturn, 
sometimes called the fish-god — his emblem in Assyria 
being the man-bull ; Bel-Merodach or Jupiter ; Nergal 
or Mars— the man-lion of Assyria ; Islitar or Venus ; and 
Neho or Mercury. A host of inferior gods made up the moon-god. 
Pantheon. In the later Babylonian empire, Bel, Mero- (From a Cyiin- 
dach, Nebo and Nergal were the favorite deities, the last 
two receiving especial worship at Babylon. The most popular god- 
desses were Bellis, wife of Bel-Nimrod and "mother of the great 
gods"; and Ishtar, "queen of the gods," who shared with Beltis the 
titles of goddess of fertility, of war, and of hunting.* The gods were 
symbolized by pictorial emblems, and also by mystic numbers. Thus, 

Hoa = 40, emblem a serpent „(^ \^ J^ ^^"*^ . gj^^ ^ g^^ 

emblem the moon li Ji; San = 20, emblem the sun 

* In all the Pagan relitjions the characteristics of one deity often trench upon 
those of another, and in Chaldea the most exalted epithets were divided between a 
number of gods. Thus, Bel is the " father of the gods, the king of the spirits ; " Ana 
and Merodach are each " the original chief" and " the most ancient ; " Nebo is the 
*' Lord of lords, who has no equal in power ; " Sin is " the king of the gods and the 
lord of spirits," etc. The same symbol also stands for different gods. Hoa and Nebo, 
as each the "god of intelligence," " teacher and instructor of men," have for one of 
their emblems the wedge or arrow-head characters used in cuneiform writing. 


Among the emblems symbolizing otiier and, to us, unknown gods, is 
a double cross, generally repeated three times. There was a certain 
etiquette observed in religious honors, and here, as in Egypt, a temple, 
though dedicated to one particular deity, would have laudatory shrines 
erected to other gods. So also a Babylonian gentleman, having in- 
scribed upon his cylinder-seal some god or goddess chosen as his 
especial patron, out of respect and compliment added the emblems of 
various other deities. 

1)1 Assyria, II was known as Asshur* and was the supreme object 
of worship. He was the guardian deity of king and country, and in 
the sculptures his emblem is always seen near the monarch. In the 
midst of battle, in processions of victory, in public worship, or in the 
pleasures of the chase, Asshur hovers over the scene, pointing his own 
arrow at the king's enemies, uplifting his hand with the king in wor- 
ship, or spreading his wings protectingly over the scene of enjoyment. 
In bas-reliefs representing worship, there also appear a " sacred tree," 
whose true symbolism is unknown, and winged eagle-headed deities or 
genii who hand to the king mysterious fruit from a sacred basket. 
Sin and Shamas were highly honored in Assyria, and their emblems 
were worn by the king on his neck. Upon the cylinders they are 
conjoined, the sun resting in the crescent of the moon. 

Bel was also a favorite god,f but iV*?i and Nergnl, the winged 
bull and lion, the gods who " made sharp the weapons " of kings, and 
who presided over war and hunting, were most devotedly worshipped. 
The race of kings was traditionally derived from Nin, and his name 
was given to the mighty capital (Nineveh). 

Below the Great Gods there were innumerable inferior ones, each 
town and city having its own local deities which elsewhere received 
small respect. Good and evil spirits were represented as perpetually 
warring with one another. Pestilence, fever, and all the ills of life 
were personified, and man was like a bewildered traveler struggling 
through a strange land, exposed to the malice of a host of unseen foes, 
whom he could subdue only by charms and exorcisms. 

The Assyrians apparently had no set religious festivals. When a 
feast was to be held in honor of any god, the king made special pro- 
clamation. During a fast, not only king, nobles and people abstained 
from food and drink, clothed themselves in sackcloth and sprinkled 

* In the original language, the name of the country, of the first capital, and the. 
term "an Assyrian," are all identical with the name of this god. 

t It was common for both Assyrian and Babylonian kings to signify their favorite, 
god by associating his name with their own. The gods most frequently allied 
with royal names in Assyria were Asshur, Bel and Nebo ; in Babylonia, Nebo and 



ashes on their heads, but all the animals within the city walls were 
made to join in the penitential observance (see Jonah iii. 5-9). 

Image Worship, — The stone, clay, and metal images which adorned 
the temple shrines of Assyria and Babylonia were worshipped as real 
gods. So identified was a divinity with its idol, that, in the inscrip- 
tions of kings where the great gods were invoked in turn, the images 
of the same deity placed in different temples were often separately 
addressed, as Ishtar of Babylon, Ishtar of Arbela, Ishtar of Nineveh, 
etc. In worship, living sacrifices and offerings were made and oblations 
poured, the king taking the chief position, instead of the priest, as 
in Egypt. 

Curious Babylonish Customs. — If we are to believe Herodotus, 
the Babylonians buried their dead in honey and married their daughters 
by auction, the money brought by the handsome ones being given as 
a dowry to their less favored sisters. The marriage festival took place 
once a year, and no father could give 
his daughter at any other time or in 
any other way. Each bride received a 
clay model of an olive, on which was 
inscribed her name and that of her hus- 
band, with the date of the ceremony ; 
this was to be worn on her neck. 
Unlike the Egyptians, the Babylonians 
had no regular physicians ; the sick 
and infirm were brought out into the 
market - place, where the passers - by 
prescribed remedies which had proved 
effectual in their own experience or 
that of their friends ; it being against 
the law to pass by a sick person without 

inquiring into the nature of his disease. Every summer the slaves 
had a festival, called Sacees, when for five days they took command 
of their masters, one of them, clothed in a royal robe, respeiving the 
honors of a king. 



Scene I. — A Chaldean Home. — Let us visit the home of an ancient 
Chaldean as we should have found it over 3500 years ago. Before us 
rises a high brick platform, supporting an irregular cross-shaped house 
built of burnt or sun-dried bricks cemented with mud or bitumen. 
The outside is gayly adorned with colored terra-cotta cones imbedded 
in mud or plaster. Entering, we find long, narrow rooms opening one 



into another. If there are windows, they are set high, near the roof or 
ceiling. Upon the plastered walls, which are often broken by little re- 
cesses, are cuneiform inscriptions, varied by red, black and white bands, 
or rude, bright-red figures of men and birds* The chairs or stools, of 
soft, light date- wood, have legs modeled after those of an ox. The 
invaluable palm-tree, as useful in Chaldea as in Egypt, has not only 
supplied the table itself, but much of the food upon it. Its fresh 
or dried fruit appears as bread or sweetmeats ; its sap, as wine, vin- 
egar and honey. The table ware is clay or bronze. The vases which 

contain the wine are mostly 
of coarse clay mixed with 
chopped straw ; but, here 
and there, one of a finer 
glaze shows the work of the 
potter's wheel and an idea 
of beauty. The master of 
the house wears a long linen 
robe, elaborately striped, 
flounced and fringed, which, 
passing over one shoulder, 
leaves the other bare, and 
falls to bis feet. His beard 
is long and straight, and 
his hair either gathered in a roll at the back of his head or worn 
in long curls. He does not despise jewelry on his own person, and 
his wife revels in armlets and bracelets, and in rings for the fingers 
and toes. Bronze and iron — which is so rare as to be a precious 
metal — are affected most by the Chaldean belle, but her ornaments are 
also of shell, agate, and sometimes of gold. For the common people, 
a short tunic tied around the waist and reaching to the knee is a per- 
petual fashion, suitable for a temperature which ranges from 100° to 
130" F. in summer. In the severest winter season, where the ther- 
mometer falls to 30° above zero, the Chaldean hunter dons an extra 
wrap, which covers his shoulders and falls below his tunic ; then, 
barefooted and with a skull cap or a camel's-hair band on his head, 
he goes out, with his bronze arrow-head and bronze or flint knife, to 
shoot and dissect the wild boar. Our Chaldean gentleman makes out 


(The earliest Chaldean king, of whom many remains have 
been found. Date, perhaps a century after Nimrod. 
See p. 45.) 

* This description is based upon the only two Chaldean residences which have, 
as yet, been exhumed. They date from between b. c. 1800 and 1600. 

t Unich probably lived at some time during the Pyramid dynasty (p. 16) of 
Egypt. From the above cylinder we learn that the Chaldeans at this early date 
dressed in delicate fabrics elaborately trimmed, and had tastefully-fashioned house- 
hold furniture. 


a deed or writes a letter with a small bronze or ivory tool suited to his 
minute, cuneiform script, on a bit of moist clay shaped like a tiny 
pillow (p. 52). He signs it by rolling across the face the little engraved 
jasper or chalcedony cylinder, which he wears at- 
tached by a string to his wrist. Having baked it, 
he encloses it in a thin clay-envelope, upon which 
he repeats his message or contract, and bakes it 
again. When the Chaldean dies^his friends shroud 
him in fine linen and encase him in two large stone ^ cylinder seal. 
jars, so that the upper part of his body rests in one 
and the lower part in the other, after which they cement the two Jars 
together with mud or bitumen ; or they lay him upon a brick plat- 
form with a reed-matting beneath him, and place over him a huge, 
burnt clay cover — a marvel of pottery, formed of a smgle piece and 
shaped like a modern tureen cover ; or they put him on the mat in the 
family arched vault, pillowing his head on a sun dried brick covered 
with a tapestry cushion. About him they arrange his ornaments and 
favorite implements ; vases of wine are within his reach, and in the 
palm of his left hand they rest a bronze or copper bowl filled with 
dates or other food to strengthen him in his mysterious journey 
through the silent land. 

Scene II. — .1 Morning in Nineveh, — "The Assyrian was a cedar 
in Lebanon, exalted above all the trees of the field, so that all the 
trees that were in the garden of God envied him, and not one was 
like unto him in his beauty" {Ezek. xxxi.). Six centuries and a half 
have passed since Chaldea was humbled by her northern neighbor, 
and Assyria, not dreaming that her own fall is so near, is in the full- 
ness of her splendor and arrogance. It is about the year 650 b. c, 
and the proud Asshurbanipal is on the throne — Asshurbanipal, who 
has subdued the land of the Pyramids and the Labyrinth, and made 
Kamak and Luxor mere adjuncts to his glory. Nineveh, with her 
great walls one hundred feet in height, upon which three chariots can 
run abreast, lies before us. The bright spring sun of the Orient looks 
down upon a country luxuriant with a rich but short-lived verdure. 
Green myrtles and blossoming oleanders fringe the swollen streams, 
and the air is filled with the sweet odors of the citron trees. The 
morning fog has loaded the dwarf oak with manna, and the rains have 
crowded the land with flowers. The towers, two hundred feet high, 
which mark the various city-gates, throw long shadows over rows of 
windowless houses, topped with open domes or high, steep, cone-like 
roofs. Out from these houses come the people, dressed according to 
their several stations ; bareheaded and barefooted laborers, clothed in 
one garment, a plain, short-sleeved tunic reaching to the knee ; pros- 
perous folk in sandals and fringed tunics, and the wealthy, in kilts 





and trousers. The liigher orders, priests, soldiers and musicians, are 
alone privileged to cover their heads with a cap or tiara, but all, even 
the meanest, glory in long, elaborately-dressed hair. In the dwellings 
of the rich, we may see furniture of elegant design ; canopied beds 
and couches, and curtains of costly tapestry ; carved stools and tables 
with feet fashioned like gazelle-hoofs ; and, in the palace, luxurious 
chairs, an article sacred to gods and the king. In the west end of the 
city, abutting the swift-flow- 
ing Tigris, is a high platform 
covering one hundred acres, 
on which stands the magnifi- 
cent palace of Asshurbanipal. 
Near it is the still larger one 
built by Sennacherib, his 
grandfather, and about it are 
parks and hanging gardens. 
The palaces have immense 
portals guarded by colossal 
winged and human-headed 
bulls and lions ; great court- 
yards paved with elegantly- 
patterned slabs ; and arched- 
doorways, elaborately sculp- 
tured and faced by eagle- 
headed deities. We miss the warm 
lavished on Egyptian temples, 


glowing colors so generously 
There are traces of the painter, but 
his tints are more subdued and more sparingly used. It is the tri- 
umphant day of the sculptor and the enameler, Asshurbanipal sits 
on his carved chair, arrayed in his embroidered robe and mantle. On 
his breast rests a large, circular ornament wrought with sacred em- 
blems ; golden rosettes glitter on his red-and- white tiara, and rosettes 
and crescents adorn his shoes. He wears a sword and daggers, and 
holds a golden sceptre. Necklaces, armlets, bracelets and earrings 
add to his costume. Behind him is his parasol-bearer, grasping with 
both hands a tall, thick pole supporting a fringed and curtained shade. 
His Grand- Vizier — whose dress approaches his own in magnificence — 
stands before him in an attitude of passive reverence to receive the 
royal orders ; the scribes are waiting to record the mandate, and p. host 
of attendants are at hand to perform it. 

Scene III. — A Royal Lion-Hunt. — To-day it is a lion-hunt. At 
the palace-gates, surrounded by a waiting retinue, stands the king's 
chariot, headed by three richly-caparisoned horses, champing bronze- 
bits and gayly tinkling the bells on their tasseled collars, while grooms 
hold other horses to be placed before the chariots of high officials, after 


the monarch shall have mounted. As the king steps into the box like 
chariot, his two favorite eunuchs adjust the well-stocked quivers, put 
in the long spears, and enter behind him ; the charioteer loosens the 
reins, and the horses start at full speed. At the park or "paradise," 
a large circuit is enclosed by a double rampart of spearmen and archers, 
and a row of hounds held in leashes. Here the lions kept for the 
king's sport wait in their cages. Having arrived at the park and 
received a ceremonious salute, the king gives the order to release the 
wild beasts. Cautiously creeping out from their cages, they seem at 
first to seek escape ; but the spearmen's large shields and bristling 
weapons dazzle their eyes ; the fierce dogs, struggling in their leashes, 
howl in their ears ; and the king's well-aimed arrows quickly enrage 
them to combat. Swifter and swifter fly the darts. The desperate 
beasts spring at the chariot sides only to receive death thrusts from 
the spears of the attendants, while the excited king shoots rapidly on 


in front. Now one has seized the chariot-wheel with his huge paws 
and grinds it madly with his teeth ; but he, too, falls in convulsions 
to the ground. The sport fires the blood of the fierce Asshurbanipal. 
He jumps from his chariot, orders fresh lions to be released, grasps 
his long spear, selects the most ferocious for a hand to-hand combat, 
furiously dispatches him, and, amid the deafening shouts of his ad- 
miring courtiers, proclaims his royal content. The hunt is over ; the 
dead lions have been collected for the king's inspection, and are now 
borne on the shoulders of men in a grand procession to the palace, 
whither the king precedes them. The chief oflBcers of the royal house- 
hold come out to welcome him : the cup bearer brings wine, and, while 
the king refreshes himself, busily plies his long fly- whisk about the 
royal head, the musicians meantime playing merrily upon their harps. 
It' remains to offer the finest and bravest of the game to the god of the 
chase ; and four of the largest lions are accordingly selected and 
arranged side by side before the altar. The king and his attendants, 


all keeping time to formal music, march in stately majesty to the 
shrine, where Asshurbanipal raises the sacred cup to his lips, and 
slowly pours the solemn libation. A new sculpture depicting thie grand 
event of the day is ordered, and beneath it is inscribed : 

" I, Asshurbanipal, king of the nations, king of Assyria, in my great courage, 
fighting on foot with a lion terrible for itt» size, seized him by the ear. and in the 
name of Asshur and of Ishtar, Goddess of War, with the spear that was in my hand 
I terminated his life." 

Scene IV. — Asshurbanipal Going to War. — The king goes to war 
in his chariot, dressed in his most magnificent attire, and attended by 
a retinue of fan-bearers, parasol bearers, bow, quiver and mace-bearers. 
About these gather his body-guard of foot-spearmen, each one bran- 
dishing a tall spear and protected by scale armor, a pointed helmet, 
and a great metal shield. The detachment of horse-archers which 
follows, is also dressed in coats of mail, leather breeches, and jack- 
boots. Before and behind the royal cortege stretches the army— a vast 
array of glancing helmets, spears, shields, and battle-axes ; war- 
riors in chariots, on horse, and on foot ; heavy-armed archers in 
helmet and armor, with the strung bow on the shoulders and the 
highly-decorated quiver filled with bronzy or iron-headed arrows on 
the back ; light-armed archers with embroidered head bands and short 
tunics, and bare arms, limbs, and feet : spearmen who carry great 
wicker shields, which are made, in case of need, to join and furnish 
boats : and troops of slingers, mace-bearers, and axe-bearers. The 
massive throne of the king is in the cavalcade ; upon this, when the 
battle or siege is ended, he will sit in great state to receive the prisoners 
and spoil. Here, too, are his drinking-cups and washing-bowls ; his 
low-wheeled pleasure-chair, his dressing-table, and other toilet luxu- 
ries. Battering-rams, scaling-ladders, baggage-carts and the usual 
paraphernalia of a great army make up the rear, where also in carefully- 
closed ar'abas are the king's wives, who with the whole court follow 
him to war. The Ninevites come out in crowds to see the start ; the 
musicians — who, however, remain at home — play a brisk farewell on 
double-pipes, harps and drum; the women and children, standing in 
procession, clap their hands and sing ; and so, amid " the noise of the 
rattling of the wheels, and of the prancing horses, and of the jumping 
chariots" {Nahum iii. 2), the Assyrian army sets off. 

Scene V. — -.4 Royal Banquet. — After many days the host comes 
back victorious (the sculptures never record defeats), bringing great 
spoil of gold, silver, and fine furniture, countless oxen, sheep, horses 
and camels, prisoners of war, and captured foreign gods. Rejoicing 
and festivities abound. A royal feast is given in the most magnificent 
of the sculptured halls, where the tables glitter with gold and silver 
stands laden with dried locusts, pomegranates, grapes, and citrons. 



There are choice meats, hare and garae-birds, and an abundance of 
mixed wine in the huge vases from which the busy attendants fill the 
beakers, of the guests. Afterward, the king invites the queen from 
her seclusion in the beautiful harem to sup with him in the garden. 
At this banquet, the luxurious Asshurbanipal re- 
clines on a couch, leaning his left elbow on a cush- 
ioned pillow, and holding in his hand a lotus, here, 
as in Egypt, the sacred flower. A table with dishes 
of incense stands by his bed, at the foot of which 
sits his handsome queen. Her tunic is fringed and 
patterned in the elaborate Assyrian style, and she 
is resplendent with jewelry. A grape-vine shelters 
the royal pair, and behind each of them stand two 
fan-bearers with long brushes, scattering the trou- 
blesome flies. Meantime the king and queen sip 
wine from their golden cups ; the attendants bring 
in fresh fruits ; the harpers play soft music, and, 
to complete the triumph of the feast, from a neigh- 
boring tree surrounded by hungry vultures, dan- 
gles the severed head of the king's newly-conquered 



1. Political History. — Our earliest glimpse of Chaldea is of a 
mighty hunter, Nimrod, who founds Babylon, Erech, Accad, and 
Calneh. Semites, who migrate northward to escape the despotic 
Hamite rule, now build the Assyrian cities upon the Tigris. Hence- 
forth war rages between the rival states, and the seat of power fluc- 
tuates between Babylon and Nineveh. In 1250 B.C. Babylon is over- 
whelmed, and for 600 years Nineveh is the seat of empire. Here the 
Sargonidse — Sennacherib, Esarhaddon, and Asshurbanipal — develop 
the Golden Age of Assyrian rule. The Babylonians, however, con- 
tinue to revolt, and in 747 B. c. Nabonasser ascends the Babylonian 
throne, destroys the records of all the kings before his time, and 
establishes a new era from which to reckon dates. In 625 b. c, Nine- 
veh is finally overthrown by the Babylonians and the Medes, and 
Nabopolasser establishes the second Babylonian empire. Nebuchad- 
nezzar subdues the surrounding nations, humiliates Egypt, captures 
Tyre, crushes Judea, and with his captives brought back to Babylon 
makes that city the marvel of all eyes. It is, however, the last of her 
glory. Within the next quarter of a century Babylon is taken by the 



stratagem of Cyrus the Great, Belsliazzar is slain, and the mighty city 
falls never again to rise to her ancient glory. 

2. Civilization. — The Early Chaldeans build vast temples of sun- 
dried brick cemented with bitumen ; write in cuneiform characters on 
clay-tablets ; engrave signet cylinders ; use implements of stone, flint 
and bronze ; manufacture cloth ; make boats and navigate the sea. 
They are learned in astronomy and arithmetic ; discover the equi- 
noctial precession {Steele's Astronomy^ p. 121) ; divide the day into 
twenty-four hours ; invent dials and calculate a table of squares. 
They place their houses on high platforms ; make their furniture of 
date-wood, and use table-ware of clay or bronze. The palm-tree fur- 
nishes them food. Their dead are buried in large clay -jars, or in dish- 
covered tombs, or are laid to rest in arched brick vaults. Like the 
Egyptians, they are Hamites. 


The Assyrians, their Semitic conquerors, are a fierce, warlike race, 
skilful in agriculture, in blowing glass and shaping pottery, in casting 
and embossing metals, and in engraving gems. They dye, weave, 
and are superior in plastic art. They build great palaces, adorning 
them with sculptured alabaster slabs, colossal bulls and lions, paved 
courts, and eagle-headed deities. They, too, write upon clay-tablets, 
and cover terracotta cylinders with cuneiform inscriptions. Their 
principal gods are the heavenly bodies. They do not worship animals, 
like the Egyptians, but place images of clay, stone or metal in their 
temples and treat them as real deities. Magic and sorcery abound. 
There is no caste among the people, but all are at the mercy of the 
king. Women are not respected as in Egypt, and they live secluded 
in their own apartments. Clay books are collected and libraries 



founded, but most of the learning comes from the conquered race, and 
the Chaldean is the classic language. 

Among the Later Chaldeans or Babylonians, caste is rigid ; but, as in 
Assyria, the king has unlimited power. The nobility live luxuriantly 
and are fond of banqueting. Industries flourish and commerce is 
extensive. Babylonian robes and tapestries surpass all others in fine- 
ness of texture and brightness of hue. Far below Assyria in the art 
of sculptured bas-relief, Babylonia excels in brick-enameling, and is 
greatly the superior in originality of invention, in literary culture and 
scientific attainment. From her, Assyria draws her learning, her 
architecture, her religious notions, her legal forms, and many of her 
customs and usages. 

"In Babylonia almost every branch of science made a beginning. She was the 
source to which the entire stream of Eastern civilization may be traced. It is 
scarcely too much to say that, but for Babylon, real civilization might not even yet 
have dawned upon the earth, and mankind might never have advanced beyond that 
spurious and false form of it, which in Egypt, India, China, Japan, Mexico, and 
Peru, contented the aspirations of the people."— i?aw/in«o?i'« Anc. Mon. 


Rawlinson/s History of Ancient Monarchies.— Fergusson's History of Architecture, 
and Palaces of Nineveh and Persepolis Restored.— Lay ard's Monuments of Nineveh., 
and Nineveh and its Remains.— Viollet Le Due's Habitations of Man in all Ages.— 

Records of the Past (6 vols, of Assyrian texts). Sayce's Babylonian Literature.— 

LenormanVs Ancient Chaldean Magic— Loftus's Chaldea and Susiana. -Smith's 
Early History of AssyHa and Babylonia.— Also the General Ancient Histories namsd 
on page kU. 


Nimrod founded Babylon about 2300 

Rise of Assyria • 1250 

Era of Nabonassar 747 

Pall of Nineveh • 625 

Cyrus captured Babylon 538 

Alexander captured Babylon 331 



The Phoenicians were Semites. They inhabited a bar- 
ren strip of land, on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean, 
not more than one hundred and eighty miles long and 
a dozen broad. The country was never united under one 
king, but each city was a sovereignty by itself. A powerful 
aristocracy was connected with these little monarchies, but 
the bulk of the people were slaves brought from foreign 
countries. The principal cities were Sidon and Tyre,* 
which successively exercised a controlling influence over the 
others. The chief defence of the Phoenicians lay in their 
naval power. Situated midway between the east and the 
west, and at the junction of three continents, they carried 
on the trade of the world.f The Mediterranean became the 
mere highway of their commerce. They passed the Strait 
of Gibraltar on one hand, and reached India on the other. 

They settled Cyprus, Sicily, and Sardinia. In Spain, 
they founded Gades (now Cadiz) ; and in Africa, Utica, and 
Carthage — the latter destined to be in time the dreaded rival 
of Rome. They planted dep6ts on the Persian Gulf and the 

Geographical QuesUons.— Bound. Phoenicia. Locate Tyre. Sidon. Joppa. 
Name the principal Phoenician colonies. Where was Carthage ? Utica ? Tarshish ? 
Gades ? The Pillars of Hercules ? 

* Tyre, which was founded by Sidonians, has been called the Daughter of Sidon 
and the Mother of Carthage. 

t Read the 27th chapter of Ezekiel for a graphic account of the Phoenician com- 
merce in his day. 




Red Sea. They obtained tin from the British Isles,* amber 
from the Baltic, silver from Tarshish (southern Spain), and 
gold from Ophir (southeastern Arabia). In connection with 
their maritime trade they established great commercial 

* They concealed the source of their supplies so carefully that once a Phcenician 
captain, outward bound, flndinj; himself followed by a Roman ship sent to discover 
his destined port, lan his own vessel on the rocks to lead his enemy to destruction, 
and prevent revealing the secret. On his return home the goveniment compensated 
him for his loss. 

1000 B.C.] 



routes by which their merchants penetrated the interior of 
Europe and Asia. With the growth of Carthage and the 
rising power of Greece they lost their naval supremacy. 
But the land traffic of Asia remained in their hands, and 
their caravans, following the main traveled route through 
Palmyra, Baalbec, and Babylon, permeated all the Orient. 


Loss of Independence. — Rich perch ant cities were 
tempting prizes in those days of strife. From about 850 
B. c. Phoenicia became the spoil of each of the great con- 
querors who successively achieved empire. It was made a 
province, in turn, of Assyria, Babylonia, Persia, Egypt, 
Greece, and finally Rome. The Phoenicians patiently sub- 
mitted to the oppression of these various masters, and paid 
their tribute at Memphis or Nineveh, as the case might be. 
To them the mere question of liberty, or the amount of 
their taxes, was a small one compared with the opening or 

% ' I»H<EKIC1A. [880-14eB.C. 

closing of their great routes of trade. The general avoid- 
ance of war, except as they entered the service of their 
foreign masters, must have arisen from self-interest, and not 
from cowardice, since the Phoenician navigator displayed a 
courage shaming that of the mere soldier. 

Carthage,* the most famous Phoenician colony, was 
founded, according to legend, about 880 b. c, by Dido, who 
came thither with a body of aristocrats fleeing from the 
democratic party of T3rre. The location of Carthage was 
African, but its origin and language were Asiatic. The 
policy of the warlike daughter proved very unlike that of the 
peaceful mother. The young city, having gained wealth by 
commerce, steadily pushed her conquests among the neigh- 
boring tribes, inch by inch, until, by the 7th century b. c, 
she reached the frontier of Numidia. No ancient people 
rivalled her in ability to found colonies. These were all 
kept subject to the parent city, and their tribute enriched 
her treasury. Of the history of Carthage we know little, 
and still less of her laws, customs, and life. No Punic 
orator, philosopher, historian, or poet has left behind any 
fragment to tell of the thoughts that stirred or the events 
that formed this wonderful people. Had it not been for the 
desolating wars that accompanied her fall, we should hardly 
know that such a city^nd such a nation ever existed. 

* Carthage was built on a peninsula about three miles wide. Across this was 
constructed a triple wall with lofty towers. A single wall defended the city on every 
side next the sea. The streets were lined with massive houses lavishly adorned 
with the riches of the Punic traders. Two long piers reached out into the sea, 
forming a double harbor, the outer for merchant ships and the inner for tbe navy. 
In the center of the inner harbor was a lofty island crowned with the admiral's 
palace. Around this island and the entire circumference of the inner harbor, ex- 
tended a marble colonnade of Ionic pillars two stories high ; the lower story forming 
the front of the curved galleries for the protection of the ^hips ; and the upper, of 
the rooms for workshops, storehouses, etc. The limits of the city were twenty-three 
miles, and it was probably more populous than Rome. Its navy was the largest 
in the world, and in the sea-fight with Regulus comprised 350 vessels carrying 
150,000 men. 


The Civilization. — " Assyria and Egypt were the birth-places 
of material civilization, and the Phoenicians were its missionaries." 
The depots of the Phoenician merchants were centers whence germs 
of culture were scattered broadcast. To Europe and Africa these 
traders brought the arts and refinements of the older and more 
advanced East. 

lAterature. — But the Phoenicians were more than mere carriers. 
To them we owe the alphabet,* which we have inherited, with some 
modifications, through the Greeks and Romans. Unfortunately no 
remains of Phoenician literature survive. Treatises on agriculture 
and the useful arts are said to have been numerous ; Debir, a 
Canaanite (probably Phoenician) town of Palestine, was termed the 
" book-city." 

Arts and Inventions. — The Phoenicians were the first to notice the 
connection of the moon with the tides, and apply astronomy prac- 
tically to navigation. They carried on vast mining operations, and 
were marvellous workers in ivory, pottery, and the metals, so that 
their bronzes and painted vases became the models of early Grecian 
art. The prize assigned by Achilles for the foot-race at the funeral 
of Patrocles {Iliad, XXIII, 471) was— 

" A bowl of solid silver, deftly wrought, 
That held six measures, and in beauty far 
Surpassed whatever else the world could boast ; 
Since men of Sidon skilled in glyptic art 
Had made it, and Phcenician mariners 
Had brought it with them over the dark sea." t 

* The Phoenicians selected from the Egyptian hieratic twenty -two letters, making 
each the representative of one definite articulation. It was the first true alphabet. 
Twelve of these letters we retain with nearly their Phcenician value. Read article 
on Alphabet in Appleton's New Encyclopoedia. 

t Until within fifteen years, no specimen of Phoenician sculpture or of pure 
Phoenician art was known to exist. It is to Luigi Palma di Cesnola— an Italian 
Count, who has become a naturalized American, a Brigadier-General in the United 
States Army and Consul to the island of Cyprus— that wo owe some of the most 
valuable discoveries of the present century. Di Cesnola, in his excavations at 
Cyprus, has opened over eight thousand tombs, and brought to light an immense 
quantity of Greek and Phoenician treasures, part of which are now preserved in the 
Metropolitan Museum of Art in the Central Park at New York. The Phoenician 
tombs were discovered several feet below the Grecian ; the Phoenician city having 
perished and a Greek one sprung up, " which, in time, silently entered its dark home, 
without knowing or suspecting that it reposed upon another and an older city of the 
dead." Phoenician tombs were generally rock-cut and subterranean ; having two or 
more chambers, with recesses in the walls where the coffins rested. Those found in 
Cyprus were " oven-shaped and seal«d at the mouth by a rough stone, and in some 
of them were sarcophagi of stone and marble. Time had left no remains except a 
few skulls. Upon these the gold-leaf placed by the Phoenicians over the mouth of 
the dead was frequently found." 



Sidon was noted for its glass-working, in which the blow-pipe, 
lathe, and graver were used. The costly purple dye of Tyre, ob- 
tained in minute drops from shell-fish, was famous, the rarest and 

most beautiful shade being worn only by kings. The Phoenicians 
were celebrated for their perfumes, and had a reputati(m for nicety of 
execution in all ornamental arts. When Solomon was about to build 
the great Jewish Temple, King Hiram sent, at his request, " a cun- 
ning man of Tyre, skillful to work in gold, in silver, in brass, in 
iron, in stone, and in timber; in purple, in blue, in crimson, and 
in fine linen ; also to grave any manner of graving, and to find out 
every device which shall be put to him." 

Their JReligion resembled that of the Chaldeans and Assyrians, 
but was more cruel. Baal and Mohch were great gods connected 
with the sun. They were worshipped in groves on high places, 
amid the wild cries and self-mutilations of their votaries. Before 
and after a battle (if victorious) large numbers of human beings 



were sacrificed. Melcarth, the special god of Tyre, united the 
attributes of Baal and Moloch. He was a Hercules who pulled back 
the sun to the earth at the time of the solstices, moderated all 
extreme weather, and counteracted the evil signs of the zodiac ; his 
symbol was that of the Persian Ormazd — a never-ceasing flame 
(p. 98). Astarte or Ashtaroth, goddess of fire and chief divinity of 
Sidon, became the wife of Mel earth ; she symbolized the moon. 

Children were the favorite offerings to Moloch. At Jerusalem (2 Kings xxiii. 10) 
the hollow metal image of the.Tyrian god was heated by a fire beneath it, the 
priest placed the child in the idol's glowing hands, and drums were beaten to 
drown the little sufferer's cries. So common were such sacrifices that one historian 
says the Phoenicians offered some relative on the occasion of any great calamity ; 
and when the Carthaginians were besieged by Agathocles, tyrant of Sicih\they de- 
voted two hundred of their noblest children in a public sacrifice, three hundred addi- 
tional ones surrendering themselves voluntarily. Even in Roman Carthage these 
horrible sights were revived, and infants were publicly offered till Tiberius, to put a 
stop to the revolting practice, crucified the priests on the same trees beneath whose 
shade they had performed these cruel rites. 


T/ie General Ancient Histories named on pp. ItU and 73.—Chevallier and Lenor- 
manVs Manual of Oriental History.— Smith's History of the World, Vol,. II.., pp. 3U3- 
U05 {this includes an account of Carthage).— Capt. Mago's Adventures, a Phoenician 
Expedition 1000 b. c— Arnold'' s History of Rome, Vol. II., pp. h55-U67 {Carthaginian 
Institutions).— Mommsen's History of Rome, Vol. II., p. 261 {Carthage). 



Sidon founded, about 1550 

Rise of Tyre, about 1050 

Carthage founded, about . 880 

Phoenicia conquered by Assyria, about 850 

Tyre captured by Nebuchadnezzar 605 

Tyre captured by Alexander 333 



The Jews were Semites, and related to the Assyrians 
and the Phoenicians. Their history opens (in the 20th cen- 
tury B. c.) with the coming of Abraham from Chaldea into 
Canaan. There he and his descendants lived, simple shej)- 
herds, like the Arabs of to-day, dwelling in tents among 
their flocks and herds. By a singular fortune, Joseph ^ 
Abraham's great grandson, became vizier of A-pe-pi II., one 
of the Shepherd Kings of Egypt (p, 17). Being naturally 
desirous of surrounding himself by foreigners who would 
support him against a revolt of the people, that monarch 
invited the Hebrews to settle in Egypt. Here they greatly 
prospered. But in time the native kings, who *' knew not 
Joseph," were restored. During the XIX th dynasty, Eame- 
ses II., fearful of the number of the Jews and their attach- 
ment to the usurping line, sought to reduce them by hard 
service on the vast public works of his reign (p. 18). But 
Moses, one of the profoundest statesmen of history, who 
was versed in all the learning of the Egyptian court — then 
the center of civilization — rescued his people from their 

Geof/faphtcal Questions.— Bound Palestine. Locate the Dead Sea. The Sea 
of Galilee. The Kingdom of Judah. The Kingdom of Israel, Describe the River 
Jordan. Where was Jerusalem ? Samaria ? Jericho ? Damascus ? Palmyra (Tad- 
mor) ? Jpppa ? Name the cities of the Philistines. 

* The wonderful events by which this was accomplished are familiar to every 
Bible student. The design is here to give only the political history, omitting that 

J.WELL8, DEt. 


82 J U D E A . [1491 B. c. 

The Exodus (about 1491 b. c). — For forty years Moses 
led the Jews through, the wilderness until the 3,000,000 of 
slaves became assimilated into a nation of freemen, were 
won from Egyptian idolatries to the pure worship of the 
one God of their fathers, were trained to war, and made 
acquainted with the religious rites and the priestly govern- 
ment which were henceforth to distinguish them as a people. 

The Conquest of Palestine was accomplished by 
Joshua,* successor to Moses, in about six years of fierce 
battles, during which thirty-one of the principal Canaanite 
cities were destroyed. 

The Judges. — Unfortunately, Joshua at his death neg- 
lected to appoint a new leader. For want of a head the 
tribes fell apart. The old spirit of enthusiasm, of nation- 
ality, and of religious fervor died out. Idolatry crept in. 
The Jews fell an easy prey to the powerful nations around 
them. From time to time there arose heroic men who 
aroused their patriotism, inspired a new zeal for the Mosaic 
law, and induced them to shake oS the yoke of servitude. 
These were the days of the Judges— Othniel, Ehud, Gideon, 
Samson, the prophetess Deborah, and the prophet Samuel. 

Kingdom of Israel. — During the last days of the Judges 
(and of Rameses III. of Egypt), while the Jews and the 
Oanaanites were wasting their strength in war, a new power 
grew up on their borders. The Philistines formed a strong 

Providential oversight more often avowed in tfce case of the Jews, but not more real 
than in the life of every nation and individt al. It is noticeable that Mineptah, 
the Pharaoh who, according to a common belief not supported by the sacred volume, 
perished m the Red Sea, lived many ^'jars after that disaster, and died in his bed. 
Bruf sch fixes the Exodus at 1330 b. c. ; the date given above is that of the ordinary 
chronology (Usher's). See 1 Kings vi. 1. 

* Joshua's plan of crossing the Jordan, capturing Jericho, taking the heights 
beyond by a night-march, and delivering the crushing blow atBethhoron (Joshua x. 9) 
was a masterpiece of strategy, and ranks him among the great generals of the world. 
His first movement placed him in the center of the country where he could prevent 
his enemies from massing against him, and, turning in any direction, cut them 
UP in detail. 

1095-975 B.C.] 



confederation of five cities along the coast south of Phoeni- 
cia, and threatened the conquest of Canaan. In order to 
make head against them, the Jews demanded a king. Ac- 
cordingly three monarchs were giyen them in succession — 
Saul, David, and 8olo7non. Each reigned forty years. The 
first was merely a general, who obeyed the orders of God as 
revealed through the prophet Samuel. The second was a 
warrior-king. He enlarged the boundaries of Palestine, 


fixed the capital at Jerusalem, organized an army, and en- 
forced the worship of Jehovah as the national religion. The 
third was a magnificent oriental monarch. His empire 
reached to the Euphrates, and the splendor of his court 
rivaled that at Tyre, Memphis, or Nineveh. He married 
an Egyptian princess, built the temple on Mount Moriah, 
erected splendid palaces, and sent expeditions to India and 
Arabia. This was the golden age of Judea, and Jerusalem 
overflowed with wealth. 

84: JUUEA. [975B.C. 

The Two Kingdoms. — Luxury, however, brought ener- 
vation, commerce introduced idolatry, extravagance led to 
oppressive taxation. The people, on Solomon's death, de- 
manded of his son a redress of their grievances. This being 
haughtily refused, a revolt ensued. The empire was rent into 
the two petty kingdoms of Israel and Judah, the former 
containing ten tribes ; the latter, two. 

Israel (-975 to 721 = 254 years) was idolatrous from the 
start. It was a continued scene of turmoil and wrong. Its 
nineteen kings belonged to nine different families, and eight 
met a violent death. Finally the Assyrians, under Sargon, 
captured Samaria, the capital, and sent the peoi:>le prisoners 
into Media. They disappeared from history, and are still 
known as the ** Lost tribes." The few Hebrews who re- 
mained combined with the foreign settlers to form the 

Judah (975 to 586 = 389 years) retained the national 
religion. Its twenty kings, save one usurper, were all of 
the house of David in regular descent. But it lay in the 
pathway of the mighty armies of Egypt and Assyria. Thrice 
its enemies held Jerusalem. At last Nebuchadnezzar de- 
stroyed the city and carried many of the principal inhab- 
itants to Babylon. 

The Captivity lasted about seventy years. The Jews 
prospered in their adopted country, and many, like Daniel, 
rose to high favor. 

The Restoration. — Cyrus, after the capture of Babylon 
(p. 51), was friendly to the Jews,* and allowed those who 
chose, to return to Judea and rebuild their temple. They 
were greatly changed by their bondage, and henceforth were 
faithful to their religion. While they had lost their native 

* This was owing to (1) similarity in their religions ; (2) the foretelling of the 
victories of Cyrus by the Jewish prophets ; and (3} the influence of Daniel. Read 
Daniel. Nehemiah, and Ezra. 

536 B. c] 



language, they had acquired a love for commerce, and many 
afterward went to foreign countries and engaged in trade, 
for which they are still noted. 

Their later history was full of vicissitude. They be- 
came a part of Alexander's World-empire (p. 151). When 
that crumbled, Palestine fell to the 
Ptolemies of Egypt (p. 154). In the 
1st century b. c, Judea was absorbed 
in the universal dominion of Rome. 
The Jews, however, frequently re- 
belled, until finally, after a siege of untold horror, Titus cap- 
tured Jerusalem and razed it to the ground. The Jewish 
nation perished in its ruins. 


The Civilization. — The Jews were an agricultural people. 
The Mosaic law discouraged trade and intercourse with foreign 
nations. The priests, who received a share of the crops, naturally 
favoredthecultivationof the soil. There 
was no art nor science developed. When 
the Temple was to be built, Solomon 
obtained not only skilled laborers from 
the Phcenicians (p. 79), but also sailors 
for his fleet. Yet this people, occupy- 
ing a little territory 150 miles long and 
50 broad, has, like no other, influenced 
the world's history. Its sacred books 
constitute the Bible; its religion has 
molded the faith of the most progressive 
and civilized nations ; while from its 
royal family descended the Christ who 
is to-day the ideal of a pure life, and 
the grandest factor in all history. 

The Jewish Commonwealth was the first republic of which we have 
any definite knowledge. The foundation was the house : thence the 
ascent was through the family or collection of houses, and the tribe 
or collection of families to the nation. There were twelve heads of 
tribes, or princes, and a senate of seventy elders, but the source of 
power was the popular assembly known as the " Congregation of 


< 86 



Israel," in which every Hebrew proper had a voice. This gathering, 
like the centurion assembly of Rome (p. 215), formed the Jewish 
The Mosaic Laws were mild, far beyond the spirit of the age. The 

cities of refuge modified the rigors 
of the custom of personal retalia- 
tion, and gave to all the benefits of 
an impartial trial. The slave was 
protected against excessive punish- 
ment, and if of Hebrew birth was 
set free with his children at the 
Jubilee year. Land could not be 
sold for more than fifty years, and 
the debtor could always expect on 
the Jubilee to go back to the home 
of his fathers. The stranger secured 
hospitality and kindness. Usury 
was prohibited. For the benefit 
of the poor, fruit was left on the 
tree, and grain in the field, the law 
forbidding the harvest-land or vine- 
yard to be gleaned. Cruelty to animais was punished, and even the 
mother-bird with her young could not be taken. 

Learning was held in high esteem. All the Jews received what 
we should call a " comnum-school education." With this, the 
Levites, the hereditary teachers, blended instruction in the sacred 

history, the precepts of 
religion, and their duties 
to God and their coun- 
try. Every boy was 
compelled to learn a 
trade. Ignorance of some 
kind of handicraft was 
discreditable, and the 
greatest scholars and 
statesmen had some regular occupation. After the captivity, edu- 
cation seems to have been made compulsory. 

The.Hittites, frequently mentioned in the Old Testament, who 
inhabited the fertile valleys of the Orontes, and spread throughout 
southern Syria, are proved by recent discoveries to have been not 
only a military and commercial nation, but to have made great 




advances in civilization and the fine arts. A court poet is mentioned 
on the Egyptian monuments as having been among the retinue of a 
Hittite king, and the early art discovered in Cyprus by Di Cesnola 
is supposed to be largely derived from this people, who long resisted 
both the Assyrians and the Egyptians. The Egyptians called them 
the Kheta, and the victory of 
Rameses II. over the " vile chief 
of Kheta" is celebrated in the 
poem of Pentaur (p. 25). Some ^^^ 
famous sculptured figures along ancient key. 

the roads near Ephesus and from 

Smyrna to Sardis, which were attributed by Herodotus to Rameses II., 
prove now to be Hittite monuments. The language and various 
memorials of this onca-powerful people are being eagerly investi- 
gated by archaeologists, who have afready discovered the site of 
their commercial capital, Carchemish, in a huge mound on the 
lower Euphrates. In this mound, which is a mass of earth, frag- 
ments of masonry and debris, surrounded by ruined walls and 
broken towers, many important remains with inscriptions are now 
being found. 



Abraham migrated to Canaan, r.bout 2000 

The Exodus, about 1491 

Monarchy established 1095 

Reign of Solomon , .* 1015-975 

Division of the Kingdom 975 

Sargon tooli Samaria 721 

Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem 588 

Titus toolc Jerusalem a. d. 70 




The Medes and Persians, two Aryan nations, were 
early conquered by the Assyrians. The Medes were the first 
to assert their independence. Under Cyaxares they de- 
stroyed Nineveh (625 b. c.) and divided Assyria between 
themselves and the Babylonians, who had aided them in 
this conquest (p. 47). During the reign of his successor, 
Asty'ages, the Persian king Cambyses acknowledged the 
Median monarch for his superior, and left his son Cyrus 
at that court as a hostage. 

Cyrus* was bold, athletic and ambitious, and soon 

Geographical Qteesfto»s.— Bound ancient Persia. Media. Where was Per- 
sepolis ? Susa ? Acbatana ? Name the countries of Asia Minor. Where was Lydia ? 
The Isle of Khodes ? Point out Alexander's march East and his return. What was 
the extent of the Persian Empire. at that time ? 

* Cyrus was the grandson of Asty'ages. According to the legend, that king, about 
the time Cyrus was born, had a dream, which the magi interpreted to mean that 
the child would live to conquer all Asia. In alarm, Astyages commanded an officer 
named Harpagus to put him to death ; but Harpagus, instead, gave the infant to a 
herdsman to expose upon a desolate mountain. The herdsman, struck with pity, 
took the child home and brought him up as his own son. One day, Cyrus, having 
been chosen in play by his companions to be their king, flogged a disobedient boy- 
subject. The father complained to Astyages, who summoned Cyrus to appear before 
him. There the noble features and equally noble replies " of the son of the cowherd " 
revealed his royal birth. Astyages sent for Harpagus, and, learning the truth, 
quietly directed him to send his son to be a companion for the young prince, and 
himself to attend a banquet at the palace. At this feast Harpagus was served with 
the roasted flesh of his own son. As a climax, the brulal Astyages offered him a 
basket, on opening which he discovered his boy's head aud limbs. The horrified 



came to despise the now effeminate Medes. Arousing his 
warlike countrymen to revolt, he not only achieved their 

independence, but con- 
quered Media and estab- 
lished the Medo-Persian, 
the second great empire of 
western Asia. His reign 
was a succession of wars 
and conquests. He de- 
feated Croesus,* king of 
Lydia, thus adding to his 
dominions all Asia Minor 
west of the Halys. He 
captured Babylon (p. 51) 
and overthrew the Assyrian 
Empire. With the fall of 
Babylon the fabric of 
Semitic grandeur was shat- 
tered, the Great City be- 
came *'an astonishment 
and a hissing" {Jeremiah 
li. 37), and Persia took 
the lead in all western 
Asia. When Cyrus died, his kingdom reached from the 
borders of Macedonia to the banks of the Indus. 


father dared not show any emotion (p. 92), and on the king asking him how he liked 
the meat he had eaten, calmly replied that " what pleased his monarch pleased him." 
But the day of revenge soon came. Harpagus roused Cyrus to revolt, and having in 
the first battle betrayed the Median army to the young prince, became henceforth his 
most devoted general. 

* Croesus was so rich that his name has become proverbial. He was now doomed 
to die. Mounting the funeral pile, he exclaimed. " Solon ! Solon ! " Cyrus, won- 
dering, inquired the reason. The captive replied, that the Greek philosopher (p. 122) 
had once visited him and made light of his riches, saying that "no man should be 
judged happy until the manner of his death was known." Cyrus, struck by the 
reply, released Croesus and made him a confidential friend. 



[529-522 B. c. 

Cambyses (529 b. c), his son, succeeded to the throne. 
He conquered Egypt (p. 19) in a single battle, using, it is 

said, the stratagem of 
placing before his 
army cats, dogs, and 
other sacred animals 
which the Egyptians 
feared to harm. Af- 
ter this victory he 


invaded Ethiopia, but his army nearly perished in the burn- 
ing sands of the desert. Returning to Memphis, he acted 
the madman * till his death (522 B. c). 

* He had already secretly murdered his brother Smerdis. He now attempted to 
marry his sister, and ended by killing her. One day Cambyses asked Prexaspcs 
what the Persians thought of him. The nobleman replied, " They praise you greatly 
in all things except they think you love wine." Whereupon the king, to prove the 
steadiness of his nerves, aimed an arrow at the nobleman's son, who was standing 
in the vestibule, and pierced him through the heart. According to the Greek story, 
Cambyses, in a fit of passion slew the Apis, but a recently-discovered inscription 

521-486 B.C.] THE CIVILIZATION-. 91 

Darius I. (521) * organized the vast kingdom which 
Cyrus had conquered. There were twenty-three provinces, 
all restless and eager to be free. Insurrections were there- 
fore frequent. Darius divided the empire into twenty great 
"satrapies," each governed by a satrap. These officers were 
appointed by the king, and were amenable to him alone. 
The slightest suspicion of treachery was the signal for their 
instant death. To secure prompt communication between 
the monarch and distant portions of the empire, royal roads 
were established with couriers to be relieved by one another 
at the end of each day's jou^'ney. Every satrapy paid a 
regular tribute but retained its native king, laws and reli- 
gion.f The capital of the empire was fixed at Susa. 

The Later History of Persia presents the usual charac- 
teristics of oriental despotisms. There were scenes of cruelty, 
treachery and fraud. Brothers murdered by brothers, queens 
slaying their rivals, and eunuchs bartering the throne, assas- 
sinating the sovereign, and in turn perishing by justice or 
treachery, were merely ordinary events. The only interest 
to us clusters about the point where Persian history touches 
that of Greece (p. 125), until at last the empire itself crum- 
bled before the triumphant advance of Alexander. 

shows that this Apis died in 524 B. c, and was buried under the auspices of the Great 
King Cambyses himself! 

* During the absence of Cambyses in Egypt, the magi made one Gomates king, 
representing him to be Smerdis, the son of Cyrus (note, p. 90). Darius now con- 
spired with six otlier nobles, and slew the "False Smerdis." The seven noblemen 
agreed to ride out at sunrise of the following day, and that he whose horse first 
neighed should become king. Darius secured the prize, Herodotus says, by a trick 
of his groom in placing, near where they were to pass, a horse well known to his 
master's hors». 

t The satraps rivalled the king himself in the magnificence of their courts. Each 
tad several palaces with pleasure-gardens or "paradises," as they called them, 
attached. The income of the satrap of Babylon is said to have been four bushels of 
eilver coin per day, while his stables contained 17,0C0 studs, and his numerous dogs 
required the tribute of four towoi^ for their support 



Society. — The King, as in Assyria and ^^abylonia, held at his 
disposal the lives, liberties and property of his people. He was 
bound by the national customs as closely as his meanest subject, but 
otherwise his will was absolute. His command, once given, could 
not be revoked even by himself; hence arose the phrase, "Un- 
changeable as the laws of the Medes and Persians." His every 
caprice was accepted without question. If he chose, in pure wan- 
tonness, to shoot an innocent boy before the eyes of his father, the 
parent, so far from expressing horror at the crime, would praise his 
skillful archery ; and offenders, bastinadoed by royal order, declared 
themselves delighted that his majesty had condescended to notice 
them even with his displeasure. The king was the state. If he 
fell in battle, all was lost ; if he were saved, it outweighed every 

The Seven Princes (Esther i. 14 ; Ezra vii. 14) were grandees next 
to the king. One was of the royal family ; the others were chiefs 
of the six great houses from which the king was legally bound to 
choose his legitimate wives. No one except the Seven Princes 
could approach the royal person unless introduced by a court 
usher. They sat beside the king at public festivals, entered his 
apartment at their pleasure, and gave him advice on public and 
private matters. 

The Court vfus principally composed of magi (p. 97), who judged 
all moral and civil offences. 

The People seem to have been divided into two general classes, 
those who lived in towns and cities and who generally cultivated the 
soil, and the roving or pastoral tribes. Social grades were strongly 
marked, and the court etiquette was aped among all classes, special 
modes of salutation being prescribed for a man's superior, his equal, 
and his inferior. Trade and commerce were beld in great contempt, 
and the rich boasted that they neither bought nor sold. 

Writing. — Cuneiform Letters. — The Persian characters were 
formed much more simply than the Assyrian. They were, so far 
as now known, less than forty in number, and were written from 
left to right. For public documents the rock and chisel were used ; 
for private, prepared skin and the pen. Clay-tablets seem never to 
have been employed, and papyrus brought from Egypt was too 
costly. As the cuneiform letters are illy adapted to writing on 
parchment, it is probable that some cursive characters were also in 


use, though none have as yet been discovered. The Persian writing 
which has survived is almost entirely on stone, either upon the 
mountain side or on buildings, tablets, vases, and signet-cylinders. 

Science and Literature.— To science, the Persians contributed 
absolutely nothing. They had fancy, imagination, and a relish for 
poetry and art, but they were too averse to study to produce any- 
thing which required patient and laborious researcji. In this respect 
they furnish a striking contrast to the Babylonians. 

The Avesta or Sacred Text, written in Zend, the ancient idiom 
of Bactria, is all that remains to us of their literature. It is com- 
posed of eight distinct parts or books, compiled from various older 
works which have been lost, and purports to be a revelation made 
by Ormazd (p. 98) to Zoroaster,* the founder of the Persian religion. 
The principal books are the Vendidad and the Yaqng. : the former 
contains a moral and ceremonial code somewhat corresponding to 
the Hebrew Pentateuch ; the latter consists of prayers, hymns, etc., 
for use during sacrifice. The contents of the Zend-Avesta date from 
various ages, and portions were probably handed down by oral tra- 
dition for hundreds of years before being committed to writing. 

From the Zend-Avesta. 

"Zoroaster asked Ahura Mazda : ' Ahura Mazda, holiest spirit, creator of all exist- 
ent worlds, the truth loving 1 What was, O Ahura Mazda, the word existing before 
the heaven, before the water, before the earth, before the cow, before the tree, before 
the fire, the son of Ahura Mazda, before man the truthful, before the Devas and car- 
nivorous beasts, before the whole existing universe, before every good thing created 
by Ahura Mazda and springing from truth ? ' 

Then answered Ahura Mazda : ' It was the All of the creative word, most holy 
Zoroaster. I will teach It thee. Existing before the heaven, before the water, before 
the earth,' etc. (as before). 

' Such is the All of the Creative Word, most holy Zoroaster, that even when 
neither pronounced, nor recited, it is worth one hundred other proceeding prayers, 

* Zoroaster was a reformer who lived in Bactria, probably about 1500 b. c, possibly 
earlier. Little is known of his actual history. The legends ascribe to him a seclu- 
sion of twenty years in a mountain cave, where he received his doctrines direct from 
Ormazd. His tenets, though overlaid by superstition, were remarkably pure and 
noble, and of all the ancient creeds approach the nearest to the inspired Hebrew 
faith. Their mutual hatred of idolatry formed a bond of sympathy between the 
early Persians and the Jews, Ormazd and Jehovah being recognized as the same 
Lord GoA{Isaiah xliv. 28; Ezra i. 2, 3). At the time of the Persian conquest by 
Alexander, the Zoroastrian books were said to number twenty-one volumes. During 
the five hundred years of foreign rule they were scattered and neglected. Under the 
Sassanian kings (-226-651 a. d.) the remaining fragments were carefully collected and 
translated, with explanatory notes, into the literary language of the day. This trans- 
lation was called Avesta-u-Zend (text and comments). By some mistake the word 
" Zend" was applied to the original language of the text, and is now generally used 
in that sense, hence " Zend-Avesta." 


neither pronounced, nor recited, nor chanted. And he, most holy Zoroaster, who in 
this existing world remembers the All of the Creative Word, utters it when remem- 
bered, chants it when uttered, celebrates when chanted, his soul will 1 thrice lead 
across the bridge to a better world, a better existence, better truth, better days. 
I pronounced this speech containing the Word, and it accomplished the creation of 
Heaven, before the creation of the water, of the earth, of the tree, of the four-footed 
beast, before the birth of the truthful, two-legged man.' " 

A Hymn.—'-'^ We worship Ahura Mazda, the pure, the master of purity. 

We praise all good, thoughts, all good words, all good deeds which are or shall 
be ; and we likewise keep clean and pure all that is good. 

O Ahura Mazda, thou true, happy being 1 We strive to think, to speak, and to 
do only such actions as may be best fitted to promote the two lives " (i. e., the life of 
the body and the life of the soul). 

We beseech the spirit of earth for the sake of these our beet works (i. e., agricul- 
ture) to grant us beautiful and fertile fields, to the believer as well as to the unbe- 
liever, to him who has riches as well as to him who has no possessions." 

Education.— " To ride, to draw the bow, and to speak the 
truth," were the great ends of Persian education. When a boy was 
five years old his training began. He was made to rise before dawn, 
and practice his exercises in running, slinging stones, and the use 
of the bow and javelin. He made long marches, exposed to all 
weathers, and sleeping in the open air. That he might learn to 
endure hunger, he was sometimes given but one meal in two days. 
When he was seven years old, he was taught to ride and hunt, in- 
cluding the ability to jump on and off his horse, to shoot the bow 
and to use the javelin, all with his steed at full gallop. At the age 
of fifteen, he became a soldier. Books and reading seem to have 
formed no part of an ordinary Persian education. The king himself 
was no exception. His scribes learned his wishes, and then wrote 
his letters, edicts, etc., affixing the royal seal without calling upon 
him even to sign his name.* 

Monuments and Art. — As the followers of Zoroaster wor- 
shipped in the open air, we need not look in Persia for temples, but 
must content ourselves with palaces and tombs. The palaces at Per- 
sepolist were as magnificent as those at Nineveh and Babylon had 
been, though different in style and architecture. Like them they were 
built on a high platform, but for the crude or burnt brick of Assyria 

* " Occasionally, to beguile weary hours, a monarch may have had the ' Book of 
the Chronicles of the Kings of Persia and Media ' read before him ; but the kings 
themselves never opened a book or studied any branch of science or learning." — 

t Remains of a large palace have been discovered at Susa, which is supposed to 
be the identical one described in the Book of Esther. On the bases of the pillars it 
is stated that the palace was erected by Darius and Xerxes, but repaired by Artaxerxes 
Memnon, who added the inscriptions. 



and Babylon were substituted enonnous blocks of hewn stone,* fast- 
ened with iron clamps. The platform was terraced, and the broad, 
gently sloping, and elaborately-sculptured staircases, wide enough to 
allow ten horsemen to ride abreast, were exceedingly grand and im- 
posing. The subjects of sculpture were much like those in Assyria : 
the king in combat with mythical monsters, or seated on his throne 
surrounded by his attendants ; long processions of royal guards, or 
of captives bringing tribute; and symbolical combats between bulls 

( ' Y ^F "'^ ^ ' /^ 1 ^"^ " ' 1^ ' ' 


V- 1. i 



and lions. Colossal winged and human-headed bulls, also copied 
from Assyria, guarded the palace portals. For effect, the Persians 
seem to have depended upon elegance of form, richness of material, 
and splendor of coloring, rather than upon immense size, as did the 
Egyptians and Babylonians. The " Great Hall of Xerxes," however, 
was larger than the " Great Hall of Karnak," and in proporrion and 
design far surpassed anything in Assyria. What enameled brick 
was to Babylon, and alabaster sculpture to Assyria, that the por- 
tico and pillar were to Persia. Forests of graceful columns, over 
sixty feet high, with elegantly-carved bases and capitals, rose in hall 
and colonnade, between which were magnificent hangings, white, 
* Att iUeft Ijorrowed from the conquered Egyptians. 



green, and violet, " fastened with cords of fine linen and purple to 
silver rings and pillars of marble." {Esther i. 7.) Pavements " of 
red, blue, white, and black marble," with carpets from Sardis spread 
for the king to walk upon ; walls covered with plates of gold and 
silver; the golden throne of the king, under an embroidered canopy, 
supported by pillars of gold inlaid with precious stones; a golden 
palm-tree ; gold and silver couches ; and over the royal bed a golden 
vine, each grape being a precious stone of enormous value, are all 
recorded as appurtenances to the royal palace. The Persian king, 
like the Egyptian, attended during his lifetime to the building of 
bis last resting-place. The most remarkable of the Persian tombs 

is that of Cyrus at Pasargadse, 
_^ - - ^- which has been called "a house 

^^ ^ --^^^ upon a pedestal." Upon a pyra- 

midal base made of huge blocks of 
beautiful white marble was erected a 


with a stone roof. Here, in a small 
chamber entered by a low and nar- 
row door, were deposited in a golden 
coffin the remains of the great con- 
queror. A colonriade of twenty-four pillars, whose broken shafts 
are still seen, seems to have inclosed the sacred spot. With this ex- 
ception, all the royal sepulchres that remain are rock-tombs, similar 
in situation to those we noticed in Egypt. Unlike those, however, 
they were made conspicuous, as if intended to catch the eye of an 
observer who might glance high up the mountain-side. A spot 
difficult of approach having been chosen, 
a chamber with one or more recesses was 
excavated in the solid rock, and marked 
by a porticoed and sculptured front some- 
|:|iMPiii||M||^^ what in the shape of a Greek cross. 

'"" The sarcophagi were cut m the rock-floor 

of the recesses, and were covered by stone 

Persian Architecture is distinguished for 
simplicity and regularity, in most buildings 
one-half being the exact duplicate of the 
other. Although many ideas were bor- 
rowed from the nations we have already 
considered, Persian art, in its best features, such as the grand 
sculptured staircases and the vast groves of tall and slender 



pillars,* with their peculiar ornamentation, was strikingly original. 
The Persian fancy seems to have run toward the grotesque and 
monstrous. When copying nature, the drawing of animals was 
much superior to that of the human form. Statuary was not 

The Practical Arts and Inventions were almost entirely 
wanting. No enameling, no pottery, no metal castings, no wooden 
or ivory carvings were made. A few spear and arrow-heads, coins, 
and gem-cylinders are all the small objects which have been dis- 
covered among the ruins. Persia thus presents a marked contrast 
to the other nations we have been studying. It was, indeed, the 
boast of the Persians that they needed not to toil, since by their 
skill in arms they could command every foreign production. " The 
carpets of Babylon and Sardis, the shawls of Kashmir and India, the 
fine linen of Borsippa and Egypt, the ornamental metal-work of 
Greece, the coverlets of Damascus, the muslins of Babylonia, and the 
multiform manufactures of the Phoenician towns " poured continu- 
ally into Persia as tributes, gifts, or merchandise, and left among the 
native population no ambition for home-industries. 


General Character. — The Persian was keen-witted and ingeni- 
ous, generous, warm-hearted, hospitable, and courageous. He was 
bold and dashing in war ; sparkling, vivacious, and given to repartee 
in social life. Except in the presence of the king, where no sadness 
was allowed, he never checked the expression of his emotions, but 
childishly, regardless of all spectators, laughed and shouted when 
pleased, or wept and shrieked when in sorrow. In this he was very 
unlike the Babylonian gentleman, who studied calmness and repose 
of manner. He was self-indulgent and luxurious, but chary of debt. 
The early Persians were remarkable for truthfulness, lying being 
abhorred as the special characteristic of the evil spirit. 

Religion.— That of the Persians was Mazdeism, from Ahura 
Mazda (Ormazd), their great and good God ; it was also called Zoroas- 
trianism, after its founder (p. 93). That of the Medes was Magism, 
so named from the priests, who were of a caste called Magi. 

Mazdeism taught the existence of two great principles — one good, 
the other evil, which were in perpetual and eternal conflict. 

* In Assjrria the pillar was almost unknown, while in Egypt it was twice as broad 
in proportion to its height as in Persia. 




Ormazd was the " All-perfect, all-powerful, all- wise, all-beautiful, 
all-pure ; sole source of true knowledge, of real happiness ; him wlio 
hath created us, him who sustains us, the wisest of all intelligences." 
— {Tagna.) Having created the earth, he placed man thereon to pre- 
serve it. He was represented by the sun, fire, and light. 

(Copied by the Persians from that of the Assyrian god Asshur.) 

Ahriman was the author of evil and death, causing sin in man and 
barrenness upon the earth. Hence the cultivation of the soil was con- 
sidered a religious duty, as promoting the interests of Ormazd and 
defeating the malice of his opposer. Those who yielded to the seduc- 
tions of Ahriman were unable to cross the terrible bridge to which all 
souls were conducted the third night after death ; they fell into the 
gulf below, where they were forced to live in utter darkness and feed 
on poisoned banquets. The good were assisted across the bridge by 
an angel, who led them to golden thrones in the eternal abode of hap- 
piness. Thus this religion, like the Egyptian, contained the doctrine 
of the immortality of the soul and of future reward and punishment. 
Ormazd and Ahriman had each his councillors and emissaries, but they 
were simply genii or spirits, and not independent gods, like the lesser 
deities of the Egyptians and Assyrians. 

Zoroaatrian Worship consisted mainly in prayer and praises to 
Ormazd and his court, the recital of Gathas or hymns, and the per- 
formance of the Homa ceremony. In the last, during the recitation 
of certain prayers, the priests extracted the juice of a plant called 
homa, formally presenting the liquid to the sacrificial fire, after which 
a small portion was drunk by one of the priests and the remainder 
by the worshippers. This ceremony was supposed by some mystic 
force to secure the favor of Heaven, and, by the curative power of 
the plant, directly to bless the participant. 

Magism taught not only the worship of Ormazd, but also that of 
Ahriman, who under another name was the serpent-god of the Tura- 
nians. In Media, Ahriman was the principal object of adoration, 
since a good god, so it was reasoned, would not hurt men, but an evil 


one must be appeased by honor and sacrifice. Sorcery and incanta- 
tions, wMcli were expressly forbidden by Zoroaster, were the out- 
growth of the Median faith. 

The Magi apparently held their office by hereditary succession. In 
time, Magismand Mazdeism became so assimilated that the Magi were 
accepted as the national priests of Persia. As we have seen the Egyp- 
tian religion characterized by animal and sun worship, and the Chal- 
deo-Assyrian by that of the sun, moon and planets, so we find the 
Persian distinguished by the worship_ of the elements. The sun, fire, 
air, earth and water were all objects of adoration and sacrifice. On 
lofty heights, whence they could be seen from afar, stood the fire- 
altars, crowned by the sacred flame, believed to have been kindled 
from Heaven, and never suffered to expire. It was guarded by the 
Magi, who so jealously kept its purity that to blow upon it with the 
breath was a capital offence. By these holy fires, flickering on lonely 
mountain-topg, the Magi, clad in white robes and with half concealed 
faces, chanted day after day their weird incantations, and, myste- 
riously waving before the awe-stricken spectators a bundle of tamarisk 
twigs (divining-rods), muttered their pretended prophecies. 

Sacrifice was not offered at the altar of the eternal flame, but on fires 
lighted from it, a horse being the favorite victim. A small part of 
the fat having been consumed by the fire, and the soul of the animal 
having been, according to the Magi, accepted by the god, the body was 
cut into joints, boiled and eaten, or sold by the worshippers. Sacri- 
fices to water were offered by the side of lakes, rivers and fountains, 
care being taken that not a drop of blood should touch the sacred 
element. No refuse was allowed to be cast into a river, nor was it 
even lawful to wash the hands in a stream. — The worship of these 
elements rendered the disposal of the dead a difficult matter. They 
could not be burnt, for that would pollute fire ; nor thrown into the 
river, for that would defile water ; nor buried in the ground, for that 
would corrupt earth. The Magi solved the problem by giving their 
own dead to be devoured by beasts of prey. The people revolted from 
this, and encased the lifeless bodies of their friends in a coating of 
wax ; having made this concession to the sacred earth, they ventured 
to bury their dead in its bosom. 

Domestic Life. — The early Persians were noted for their simple 
diet. They ate but one meal a day and drank only water. With 
their successes their habits changed. They still ate only one meal 
each day, but it began early and lasted till night. Water gave place 
to wine, and each man prided himself on the quantity he could drink. 
Drunkenness, at last, became a sort of duty. Every serious family- 
council ended in a debauch, and once a year, at the feast of Mithras, 
part of the royal display was the intoxication of the king. Love of 




dress increased, and to the purple or flowered robes and tunics, em- 
broidered trousers, tiaras and shoes of their Median predecessors, the 
Persians now added the hitherto unwonted fineries of gloves and 
stockings. They wore massive gold collars and bracelets, and studded 
the golden sheaths and handles of their swords and daggers with gems. 
They not only drank wine from gold and silver 
cups as did their fallen neighbors, the Babylonians, 
but they plated and inlaid the tables themselves 
with the precious metals. Even the horses felt the 
growing extravagance and champed bits made of 
gold instead of bronze. Every rich man's house 
was crowded with servants, each confining himself 
to a single duty. Not the least of these were the 
"adorners," who applied cosmetics to their mas- 
ter's face and hands, colored his eyelids, curled his 
hair and beard and adjusted his wig. The perfume- 
bearer, who was an indispensable valet, took charge 
of the perfumes and scented ointments, a choice se- 
lection of which was a Persian gentleman's pride. 
Women were kept secluded in their own apartments, called the 
harem or seraglio, and were allowed no communication with the other 
sex.* So rigid was etiquette in this respect, 
that a Persian wife might not even see her own 
father or brother. When she rode, her litter 
was closely curtained, yet even then it was a 
capital offence for a man simply to pass a royal 
litter in the street.f 

17i6 King's Household numbered 15,000 per- 
sons. The titles of some of his servants reveal 
the despotism and dangers of the times. Such 
were his " Eyes " and " Ears," who were virtually 
spies and detectives ; and his " Tasters," who 
tried every dish set before him, to prove it were 
not poisoned. A monarch who held the life of 
his subjects so lightly as did the Persian kings, 
might well be on the alert for treachery and 
conspiracy against himself. Hence, the court 
customs and etiquette were extremely rigorous. 

ANCIENT PERSIAN -.?■.., . P , 

SILVER COIN. Even to touch the king s carpet m crossing the 

* Even at the present day it is considered a gross indecorum to ask a Persian 
after the health of his wife. 

t It is curious to notice that the same custom obtained in "Russia a few centuries 
ago. In 1674, two chamberlains were deprived of iheir ofllces for having accidentally 
met the carriage of the Tsaritsa Natalia. 


courts was a grave offence ; and to come into his chamber unan- 
nounced, unless the royal sceptre was ex"tei<dt;d ih pardon, Va^ Instant 
death {Esther vii.). Every courtier prostra-fe^ himself In th(3 'attitude 
of worship on entering the royal pres'eiice, and kept his han^^s hidden 
in his sleeve during ihe entire intervie>\^ ^Ky^r tte^kiiig Was- net 
exempt from restrictions of etiquette. He was required to live in 
seclusion ; never to go on foot beyond the palace walls ; and never to 
revoke an order or draw back from a promise, however he might desire 
it. He took his meals alone, excepting occasionally, when he might 
have the queen and one or two of his children for company. When 
he gave a great banquet his guests were divided into two classes ; the 
lower were entertained in an outer court, and the higher, in a chamber 
next his own, where he could see them through the curtain which 
screened himself. Guests were assigned a certain amount of food ; 
the greater the number of dishes, the higher the honor conferred ; 
what was left on their plates they were at liberty to take home to 
their families. Sometimes at a "Banquet of Wine," a select number 
were allowed to drink in the royal presence, but not of the same wine 
or on the same terms with the king ; he reclined on a golden-footed 
couch and sipped the costly wine of Helbon ; they were seated on the 
floor, and w^ere served a cheaper beverage. 

The Persians in War. — Weapons, etc. — The Persian footman 
fought with bow and arrows, a sword and spear, and occasionally with 
a battle-axe and sling. He defended himself with a wicker shield, 
similar to the Assyrian, and almost large enough to cover him. He 
wore a leather tunic and trousers, low boots, and a felt cap ; some- 
times he was protected by a coat of mail made of scale armor, or of 
quilted linen, like the Egyptian corselet. In the heavy cavalry, both 
horse and horsemen wore metal coats-of-mail, which made their move- 
ments slow and hesitating ; the light cavalry were less burdened, and 
were celebrated for quick and dextrous maneuvring. The special 
weapon of the horseman was a javelin— a short, strong spear, with a 
wooden shaft and an iron point. Sometimes he was armed with a 
long leather thong, which he used with deadly effect as a lasso. The 
war-chariots, which we have seen so popular in Egyptian and Assyrian 
armies, were regarded by the Persians with disfavor. Kings and 
princes, however, rode in them, both on the march and in action, and 
sometimes a chariot force was brought into the field. The wheels of 
the Persian chariot were armed with scythes, but this device does not 
seem to have caused the destruction intended, since, as it was drawn 
by from two to four horses, and always contained two or more occu- 
pants, it furnished so large a mark for the missiles of the enemy, that 
a chariot advance was usually checked before reaching the opposing 
line of battle. Military engines seem rarely if ever used, and the 



siege-towers and battering-rams, so familiar in Egyptian and Assyrian 
scu1t)t;Ufes, are *nevcr raeotioned in Persian inscriptions. Elephants 
were 'SOmetimes'V^mplfcyiedr Ail battle ; and at Sardis, Cyrus gained his 
victory over Crcpgas by frightening the Lydian horses with an array 
,of , Qaxiiel^.' ; '. , ; ' ' f , , ;• '^'^'\ < ' 

Organization of the Army. — The Persians trusted for success mainly 
to numbers. The army was commanded personally by the king, or 
some one appointed by him. In the division of men under oflBcers a 
decimal system prevailed, so that, grading upward, there were the cap- 
tains of tens, of hundreds, of thousands, and of tens-of-thousands. 
Sometimes a million men were brought into service.* 


On the March. — The Persians, like the Assyrians, avoided fighting 
in winter, and led out their armies in early spring. They marched 
only by day, and as, before the time of Darius, there were neither 
roads nor bridges, their immense cavalcade made slow progress. The 
baggage -train, composed of a vast multitude of camels, horses, mules, 

* The troops were drawn from the entire empire, and were marshalled in the 
field according to nations, each tribe accoutred in Its own fashion. Here were seen 
the gilded breastplates and scarlet kilts of the Persians and Medes ; there the woolen 
shirt of the Arab, the leathern jerkin of the Berber, or the cotton dress of the native 
of Hindustan. Swart savage Ethiops from the Upper Nile, adorned with a war-paint 
of white and red, and scantily clad with the skins of leopards or lions, fought in one 
place with huge clubs, arrows tipped with stone, and spears terminating in the horn 
of an antelope. In another, Scyths, with their loose, spangled trousers and their 
tall pointed caps, dealt death around from their unerring blows ; while near them 
Assyrians, helmeted, and wearing corselets of quilted linen, wielded the tough spear 
or the still more formidable iron mace. Rude weapons, like cane bows, unfeathered 
arrows, and stakes hardened at one end in the fire, were seen side by side with keen 
swords and daggers of the best steel, the finished productions of the workshops of 
Phoenicia and Greece. Here the bronze helmet was surmounted with the ears and 
horns of an ox ; there it was superseded by a fox-skin, a leathern or wooden skull- 
cap, or a head-dress fashioned out of a horse's scalp. Besides horses and mules, 
elephants, camels, and wild asses diversified the scene, and rendered it still more 
Strange and wonderful to the eye of a European.— iJatc/iww/i. 


oxen, etc., dragging heavy carts or bearing great packs, was sent on in 
advance, followed by about half the troops in a long, continuous 
column. Then, after a considerable break, came a picked guard of a 
thousand horse and a thousand foot, preceding the most precious 
treasures of the nation — its sacred emblems and its king. The former 
consisted of the holy horses and cars, and, perhaps, the silver altars 
on which flamed the eternal fire. The monarch followed, riding on a 
car drawn by Nisaean steeds. x\f ter him came a second guard of a 
thousand foot and a thousand horse ; then ten thousand picked foot — 
probably the famous " Immortals" (p. 130), and ten thousand picked 
horsemen. Another break of nearly a quarter of a mile ensued, and 
then the remainder of the troops completed the array. The wives of 
the chief officers often accompanied the army, and were borne in 
luxurious litters amid a crowd of eunuchs and attendants. On enter- 
ing a hostile land the baggage-train was sent to the rear, horsemen 
were thrown out in front, and other effective changes made. 

In battle the troops were massed in deep ranks, the bravest in front. 
Chariots, if used, led the attack, followed by the infantry in the center 
and the cavalry on the wings. If the line of battle were once broken, 
the army lost heart ; the commander usually set the example of flight, 
and a general stampede ensued. 


1. Political History.— Late in the 7th century b. c. the hardy 
Medes threw off the Persian yoke and captured Nineveh. But the 
court of Astyages at Ecbatana became as luxurious as that of Asshur- 
banipal had been, and the warlike Persians pushed to the front. Under 
Cyrus they conquered Media, Lydia, Babylonia, and founded an empire 
reaching from India to the confines of Egypt. Cambyses, son of 
Cyrus, by the help of the Phoenicians subdued Egypt, but was after- 
ward smitten with madness. Meanwhile a Magian usurped the throne 
in the name of Smerdis, the murdered brother of Cambyses. Darius 
unseated the Pseudo Smerdis, and organized the empire which Cyrus 
had conquered. He invaded India, Scythia, and finally Greece, but 
his hosts were overthrown on the field of Marathon (see p. 1 26). 

2. Civilization. — Every Persian, even though one of the Seven 
Princes, held his life at the mercy of the king. Truthful and of simple 
tastes in his early national life, he grew in later days to be luxurious 
and effeminate. Keen-witted and impulsive, having little love for 
books or study, his education was with the bow, on the horse, and in 
the field. In architecture he delighted in broad, sculptured staircases, 
and tall, slender columns. He expressed some original taste and de- 



sign, but his art was largely borrowed from foreign nations, and his 
inventions were few or none. He wrote in cuneiform characters, using 
a pen and prepared skins for epistles and private documents ; his public 
records were chiseled in stone. He had little respect for woman, and 
kept his wife and daughters confij;ied in the harem. He went to war 
with a vast and motley cavalcade, armed by nations, and relied upon 
overwhelming numbers for success. He worshipped the elements, 
and the Magi— his priests — guarded a holy flame on mountain heights. 
When he died his friends encased his body in wax and buried it, or 
exposed it to be destroyed by the vultures and wild beasts. 


The General Ancient Histoi'ies named on pp. hh and 72.—Rawlinson''s Five Great 
Monarchies.— Vaux' 8 Nineveh and Per8epolis.—Fergusson''s Palaces of Nineveh and 
Persepolis restored.— Loftus'' s Chaldea and Siisiana.—Haug' s Essaijs on the Sacred 
Language., Writings, and Religion of the Parsees.—Eber''s Egyptian Princess {p. UU) 
contains a vivid description of the time^ of Cambyses and the Pseiido-Smerdis. — 
Eawlinsm's Translation of Herodotus.— Muller's Sacred Books of the East ( Vols. IV 
and V). 



Cyaxares destroyed Nineveh. -. 625 

C> rus subdued the Medes . . 558 

Cyrus defeated Croesus, and captured Sard* 554 

Cyrus subdued the far East 553-540 

Cyrus captured Babylon 538 

Cambyses ascended the throne 529 

Cambyses conquered Egypt 527 

Darius Hystaspes ascended the throne 521 

Darius invaded Greece 490 



TJie Hindoos^ like the Persians, were Aryans. In all 
respects, except color, they resemble the Europeans. They 
are thought to have emigi-ated from Iran (p. 12) earlier than 
1500 B. c. They never materially influenced the steady flow 
of history, and are only incidentally mentioned when foreign- 
ers went thither for purposes of trade or conquest. The flrst 
authentic event recorded is that of the invasion of Darius 
(518 B.C.), and the next that of Alexander (p. 152).* 

Tiie Civilization. — The character of their civilization was 
stereotyped at an early day. By mixing with the dark races which 
inhabited the country the fair-skinned invaders lost the Aryan pro- 
gressiveness and energy. What the Greeks who followed Alexander 
found in India meets the traveler there to-day — a teeming popula- 
tion, gentle and peaceable; fabulous riches; the arts and industries 
passing from generation to generation unchanged ; and a systein of 
religion with rigorous rules and cerepionies regulating all the details 
of life. The products of the Indian looms were as eagerly sought 
by the ancients as the modems. The silks, pearls, precious stones, 
spices, gold, and ivory of India have in successive ages enriched 
Phoenicia, the Italian republics, and England. 

Society. — Castes were established by the early Aryans. (1.) The 
Brahmins or priests, who had the right of interpreting the sacred 
books, and possessed a monopoly of knowledge ; (2.) The Kshatriyas^ 

* There is little, if anything, in the Indian annals worth the name of history. 
The Hindoo mind, though acute and intelligent, is struck, not by the reasonableness 
or truth of a statement, but by its grandeur. Thus, in the Brahmin mythology we 
hear of RShn, an exalted being, 76,800 miles high and 19,200 miles across the shoul- 
ders. While the Egyptian engraved on stone the most trivial incident of daily life, 
the Hindoo disregarded current events, and became absorbed in metaphysical subtle- 
ties.— 51MK/ BawUnson and Mullerm the GotUemporary JievieWt^Ai^nl, 1870. 

106 IIS-DIA. 

or soldiers ; (3.) The Vnisya, or traders and farmers ; and (4.) The 
Sudras, or laborers, who consisted of the conquered people, and were 
slaves. The Pariahs, or outcasts, ranked below all the others, and 
were condemned to perform the most menial duties. Intermarriage 
between the castes was forbidden, and occupations descended rigidly 
from father to son. 

Literature. — The Sanscrit (perfected), the language of the 
conquerors, is preserved among the Hindoos, like the Latin with us, 
by means of grammars and dictionaries. Its literature is rich in 
fancy and exalted poetry, and embalms the precious remains of that 
language which was nearest the speech of our Aryan forefathers. 
Thousands of Sanscrit works are still in existence. No man's life 
is long enough to read them all. A certain Hindoo king is said to 
have had the contents of his library condensed into 12,000 volumes !. 
A portion of the Vedas, the sacred books of Brahma, was com- 
piled 1200 B. c. The Rig- Veda C(mtains 1028 hymns, invoking as 
gods the sun, moon, and other powers of nature. The following 
extract is a beautiful litany : 

1. "Let me not yet, OVaruna(lhe god of water) enter into the house of clay. 
Have mercy, Almighty, have mercy I 

2. " If I go along trembling, like a cloud driven by wind, have mercy, Almighty, 
have mercy 1 

3. " Through want of strength, thou Strong One, have I gone to the wrong shore. 
Have mercy, Almighty, have mercy 1 

4. " Tiiirst came on the worshipper, in the midst of the waters. Have mercy 
Almighty, have mercy ! 

5. "Wherever we men, O Varuna, commit an offence before the heavenly host ; 
wherever we break thy law through thoughtlessness, have mercy. Almighty, have 
mercy I " 

Religion. — Brahmanism, the Hindoo faith, teaches pantheism^* 
a system which makes God the soul of the universe, so that " what- 
ever we taste, or see, or smell, or feel is God." There runs also 
through its theology the doctrine of the transmigration „f souls, i. e,, 
that after death good spirits will be absorbed into the Supreme Being, 
but wicked ones will be sent back to occupy the bodies of animals to 
begin afresh the round of purification and elevation. The idea of 
prayer, meditation, sacrifice, and penance,t in order to secure this 

* The doctrine of the Hindoo Trinity, i. <?., that God reveals himself in three forms- 
Brahma the creator, Vishnu the preserver, and Siva the destroyer— is now known 
to be a modern one. It grew out of an attempt to harmonize all the views that were 
hostile to Buddhism. 

t Travelers tell us how the Hindoo fanatics carry this idea of penance to such an 
extent as to keep their hands clenched until the nails grow through the palms, and to 
hold their arms upright ttntil they become paralyzed. - - 



final absorption which is the highest good, constitutes the key to 
Brahmanism, and explains why in its view the hermit and devotee 
are the truly wise. By 
acts of benevolence and 
sacrifice performed in 
different stages of trans- 
migration one may accu- 
mulate a vast stock of 
merit, so as finally to at- 
tain to a god-like intelli- 
gence. Several of these 
divine sages are believed 
to have arisen from time 
to time. 

Buddhism (500 b. c.) 
was an effort to reform 
Brahmanism by incul- 
cating a benevolent and 
humane code of morals. 
It teaches the necessity 
of a pure life, and holds 
that by the practice of 
six transcendent virtues 
— alms, morals, science, 
energy, patience, and 
charity — a person may 
hope to reach Nirvana or 
eternal repose. Buddha, 
the founder of this sys- 
tem, is said to have " previously existed in four hundred millions of 
worlds. During these successive transmigrations he was almost 
every sort of fish, fly, animal, and man. He had acquired such a 
sanctity millions of centuries before as to permit him to enter Nir- 
vana, but he preferred to endure the curse of existence in order to 
benefit the race." Buddha is a historic character, and his life was 
marvelously pure and beautiful. His religion, however, was a prac- 
tical atheism, and his teachings led to a belief in annihilation and 
not absorption in Brahma, or God, as the chief end of existence. The 
Buddhists were finally expelled from India. But they took refuge 
in Ceylon ; their missionaries carried their doctrines over a large 
part of the East, and Buddhism now constitutes the religion of one- 
quarter of the population of the world. There are almost endless 




modifications of both these faiths, and they abound in sentiments 
imaginative and subtle beyond conception. Mingled with this lofty 
ideality is the grossest idolatry, and most grotesque images are the 
general objects of the Hindoo worship. 

The Sacred Writings of the Hindoos contain much that is simple 
and beautiful, yet, like all such heathen literature, they are full of 
silly and repulsive statements. Thus the Institutes of Vishnu declare 
that "cows are auspicious purifiers"; that "drops of water falling 
from the horns of a cow have the power to expiate all sin"; and 
that " scratching the back of a cow destroys all guilt." The Brah- 
mins assert that prayer, even when offered from the most unworthy 
motives, compels the gods to grant one's wishes. The Institutes of 
Gautama (Buddha) forbid the student to recite the text of the Veda 
"if the wind whirls up the dust in the day-time." The Buddhists 
declare that all animals, even the vilest insects, as well as the seeds 
of plants, have souls. 


Muller''8 Sacred Book^of the East, and History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature -~ 
Whitney's Oriental and Linguistic Studies.— LenormanVs Manvel, etc.. Vol. II L— John- 
son'^s Oriental Religions, India.— Taylor's StudenV s Manual of the History of India.— 
Bayard Taylor''s India, China, and Japan.— Articles on India, etc., in Appleton'' s, 
and ZelVs Cyclopaedias. 



The Chinese were Turanians (p. 11). Their historical 
records have been claimed to reach far back of all known 
chronology, but these are now admitted to be largely myth- 
ical. Some authorities place the foundation of the empire 
at about 2800 b. c. Since then more than twenty dynasties 
of kings have held sway. From early times the country has 
been disturbed by incursions of the Tartars (Huns or Mon- 
gols). The Emperor Ohing-Wang expelled these wild bar- 
barians, and to keep them out built along the northern fron- 
tier the Great AVall of China (about 250 B. c). It is fifteen 
to thirty feet high, wide enough for six horsemen to ride 
abreast upon the top, and' extends over mountains and valleys 
a distance of twelve hundred miles. This emperor is now 
regarded by the Chinese as their national hero. 

In the 13th century the great Asiatic conqueror Genghis 
Khan invaded the empire, and paved the way for the estab- 
lishment of the first Mongol dynasty, which held the king- 
dom for nearly one hundred years. During this period the 
famous traveler Marco Polo {Brief U. S.,, p. 20) visited 
China, where he remained seventeen years. On his return 
to Europe he gave a glowing description of the magnificence 
of the Eastern monarch's court. Again, in the 17th century, 
the Tartars obtained the throne, and founded the dynasty 
which now governs the empire. 





The Civilization. — The Chinese have always kept themselves 
isolated from the Other nations.* Consequently China has influenced 
history even less than has India. Law and tradition have done for 
the former what a false religion has for the latter. Everything came 
to a stand-still ages ago. The dress, the plan of the house, the mode 
of bowing, the minutest detail of life, are regulated by three thousand 
ceremonial laws of almost immemorial usage. No man presumes 
to introduce any improvement or change. The only hope is to 
become as wise as the forefathers by studying the national classics, i 

* Herodotus gives a characteristic account of their mode of dealing with foreign- 
ers. He says that the Chinese were wont to deposit their bales of wool or silk in a 
certain place, and then go away. The merchants came up, laid beside the goods the 
sum of money they were willing to pay, and retired. The Chinese thereupon ven- 
tured out again, and if they were satisfied took the money and left the goods, other- 
wise they left the money and carried off the goods. 

t It is wonderful to notice the marked resemblance between the ancient Egyptians 
and the Chinese. There was hardly a peculiarity marking the former that is not to 
be found essentially in the latter. There is in both the same stereotyped character, 
the same exceptional mode of writing, the same unwillingness to mingle with sur- 
rounding nations, the same mode of reckoning time by dynasties, and the same en- 
joyment in the contemplation of death.— Fergusson''s Arch., Vol. I, p. 93. 



Sucli is the esteem in wliicb agriculture is held that once a year the 
emperor exhibits himself in public holding a plow. The ingenuity 
of the Chinese is proverbial. They anticipated by centuries many 
of the most important inventions of modern Europe — such as gun- 
powder, printing, paper, porcelain, and the use of the compass. A 
Chinese chart of the stars represents the heavens as seen in that 
country 2300 b. c, thus showing how early astronomy was cultivated 
by this exclusive people. 

The Literature is very exten- 
sive. The writings of Confucius are 
the chief books perused in the 
schools. All appointments to the 
civil service are based on examina- 
tions, which include the preparation 
of essays and poems, and the writing 
of classical selections. 

Three Religions, Buddhism, 
Taoism or Rationalism, and Confu- 
cianism, exist. Such is the liberty 
of faith that a man may believe 
in them all, while the mass of the 
people will pray in the temples of 
any one indiscriminately. All these 
faiths agree in the worship of one's 
ancestors. Buddhism was introduced 
from India (p. 108), and by its gor- 
geous ritual and its speculative doc- 
trines, powerfully appeals to the 
imagination of its devotees. Taoism traditional likeness of confucius. 
is a religion of the supreme reason 

ajone. Confucianism is named from its founder, who died about 478 
B. c. (eight years before tiie birth of Socrates). He taught a series of 
elevated moral precepts, having reference, however, solely to man's 
present, and not his future state. 

Sayings of Confucius.—" He who exercises government by means of his virtue 
may be compared to the north polar star which keeps its place, and all the (other) 
stars turn towards it." 

" What you do not like when done to yourself, do not do to others." 

" I am not concerned that I have no place (office) ; I am concerned how I may fit 
myself for one. I am not concerned that I am not known ; I seek to be worthy to be 

" The wise will never intermit his labor : if another succeeds with one effort, he 
will use a hundred." 

" Slow in words and earnest in action. Act before speaking, and then speak ac-. 
cording to your actions." 



ExTBACT FBOH THE CLASSIC OF FILIAL PiETY.— " The services of love and rev- 
erence to parents when alive, and those of grief and sorrow to them when dead :— 
these completely discharge the fundamental duty of living men."''— MiUlers Sacred 
Books of the East, Vol. Ill, p. 488. 

A characteristic of the Chinese is their overweening national vanity. " The most 
popular term by which they designate their country is the 'Middle Kingdom,' from 
the notion that it is situated in the center of the world. The Chinese map of the 
globe is in the shape of a parallelogram, of the habitable part of which China occu- 
pies nine-tenths or more. Some foreign countries are represented by small spots in 
tlie oceans which surround China, and not far from its outside boundaries, A short 
extract from one of their most popular essayists will illustrate this extraordinary 
feature of the national character : ' I felicitate my.self that I was born in China, and 
constantly think how very different it would have been with me if I had been bom 
beyond the seas in some remote part of the earth, where the people, far removed 
from the converting maxims of the ancient kings and ignorant of the domestic rela- 
tions, are clothed with the leaves of plants, eat wood, and live in the holes of the 
earth.' '""—Boolittle's Social Life of the Chinese. 


Doolittle''s Social Life of the Chinese.— Loomis' s Confucius and the Chinese 
Classics.— Collie'' s Four Books (a translation of Chinese classical works).— Thornton'' 8 
History of China. — Williams'' s M'lddle Kingdom.— Articles on China and Cmfucius in 
Appleton'^s, and ZelVs G7/dopoedias.—Legge''s Eeligions of China. 





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Seat of Civilization Changed. — Thus far we have traced 
the beginnings of civilization among the oldest peoples of 
antiquity. Our study has been confined to the Orient. We 
now turn to Europe. Its history, so far as we know, began 
in Greece. The story of that little peninsula became, about 
the time of the Persian wars (p. 91), the record of civilization 
and progress, to which the history of the East is thenceforth 
but an occasional episode. 

The Difference between Eastern and Western Civ- 
ilization is marked. The former rose to a considerable 
pitch, but, fettered by despotism, caste, and polygamy, was 
soon checked. The monarchs were absolute, the empires 
vast, and the masses passive. In Greece, on the contrary, 
we find the people astir, every power of the mind in full 
play, and little states all aglow with patriotic ardor. Assy- 
rian art, Egyptian science, and the Phoenician alphabet were 
absorbed, but only as seeds for a new and better growth. 
Much of the life we live to-day, with its political, social, and 

Geographical Quesh'o/is.—Boxmd Greece. Name the principal Grecian states. 
The principal Grecian colonies (map, p. 11). The chief islands in the Mgean Sea. 
Locate the Peloponnesus. Arcadia. Where was Ionia ? .^olis ? Athens ? Sparta ? 
Thebes ? Argos ? Corinth ? Delphi ? Marathon ? Plataea ? The pass of Ther- 
mopylae ? Ilium ? The Hellespont ? The isle of Rhodes ? Mount Parnassus ? 
ValeofTempe? Mount Ossa? Mount Pelion ? Salamis Island ? Syracuse? Mas^na 
Graecia ? Chaeronea ? 

114 • GREECE. 

intellectual advantages ; its music, painting, oratory, and 
sculpture ; its thirst for knowledge, and its free institutions, 
was kindled on the shores of the ^gean Sea, was transmitted 
by the Greek to the Roman, by him to the Teuton, and so 
handed down to us. 

The G-eographical Features of Greece had much to 
do with fixing the character of its inhabitants. The coast 
was indented, like no other^ with bays having bold promon- 
tories reaching far out to sea, and forming excellent harbors. 
Nature thus afforded every inducement to a seafaring life. 
In striking contrast to the vast alluvial plains of the Nile 
and the Euphrates, the land was cut up by almost impassable 
mountain ranges, isolating each little valley, and causing it 
to develop its peculiar life. A great variety of soil and 
climate also tended to produce a versatile people. 

The Early Inhabitants were our Aryan kinsfolk (p. 12). 
The Pelasgians,* a simple, agricultural people, were the first 
to settle the country. Next, the Hellenes, a warlike race, 
conquered the land. The two blended and gave rise to the 
Grecian language and civilization, as did, in later times, the 
Norman and Anglo-Saxon to the English. 

Hellas and Hellenes. — The Greeks did not use the 
name by which we know them, but called their country 
Hellas and themselves Hellenes. Even the settlements in 
Asia Minor, and in the isles of the ^g6an and Mediter- 
ranean, were what Freeman happily styles "patches of 
Hellas." All those nations whose speech they could not 
understand they called Barbarians. 

G-recian Unity. — The different Grecian states, though 
always jealous and often fighting, yet had much in common. 

* Remains of the Pelasgian architecture still survive. They are rude, massive 
stone structures. The ancients considered them the work of the Cyclops— a fabulous 
race of giants, who had a single eye in the middle of the forehead. 


All spoke the same language, though there were several dia- 
lects. They had many common customs, and a common 
inheritance in the poems of Homer (p. 162) and the glory 
of the Hellenic name. There were, moreover, two great 
"holding-points" for all the Greeks. One was the half- 
yearly meeting of the Amphictyonic Council,* and the 
other the national games or festivals (p. 186). All Hellenes 
took part in the latter, and thus the colonies were united to 
the parent state. The Grecian calendar itself was based on 
the quadrennial gathering at Olympia, the First Olympiad 
dating from 776 b. c.f 

Legendary History. — The early records of Greece are 
mythical. It is not worth the effort to pick out the kernels 
of truth around which these romantic legends grew. They 
chronicle the achievements of the Heroic Age of the poets. 
Then occurred the Argonautic Expedition in search of the 
Golden Fleece, the Twelve Labors of Hercules, the Siege of 
"Troy divine,'' the Hunt of the Caledonian Boar, and the 
exploits of heroes whose adventures have been familiar to 
each succeeding age, and are to-day studied by the youth of 
every civilized land. J 

* In early times twelve tribes in the north agreed to celebrate sacrifices together 
twice a year, in the sprhig to Apollo at Delphi, and in the autumn to Ceres at An- 
thela, near Ttiermopylae. Their deputies were called the Amphictyonic Council 
(council of the neighbors or co-religionis^ts), and the meetings from being, at first, 
puiely religious became great centers of political infiuence. The temple at Delphi 
belonged to all the states, and the Delphic oracle attained celebrity, not only among 
the Greeks but also among foreign nations. 

t This was twenty-nine years before the era of Nabonasser (p. 46), and half a century 
before the Captivity of the Ten Tribes by Sargon (p, 84). 

X Thus read the legends : (1.) Jason, a prince of Thessaly, sailed with a band of 
adventurers in the good ship Argo. The Argonauts went through the Dardanelles, 
past the present site of Constantinople, to the eastern coast of the Euxine sea. Jason 
there planted a colony, took away the famous Golden Fleece, carried off the beautiful 
princess Medea, and returned to Thessaly in triumph. (2.) Hercules was the son of 
Jupiter and Alcmena. Juno, Queen of Heaven, sent two serpents to strangle him 
in his cradle, but the precocious infant killed them both and escaped unharmed. 
Afterward his half brother, Eurystheus, imposed upon him twelve difllcult under- 
takings, all of which he successfully accomplished. (3.) Soon aftev the return of the 



Grecian Governments. — In legendary times, as we learn 
from the Iliad, each little city or district had its hereditary 
king, supposed to be descended from the gods. He was ad- 
vised by the Council of the Elders and the Asse7nUy, the 
latter being a mass meeting, where all the citizens gathered 


Argonautic expedition several of the Grecian warriors— Meleager, Thesens, and 
others— joined in an ^olian war, which the poets termed the ''Hunt of the Caledonian 
Boary ^neus, king of Calydon, father of Meleager. having neglected to pay 
homage to Diana, that goddess sent a wild boar, which was impervious to the spears 
of ordinary huntsmen, to lay waste his country. All the princes of the age assembled 
to hunt him down, and he was at last killed by the spear of Meleager. (4.) The story 
of the Siege of Troy is the subject of Homer's Iliad. Venus had promised Pars, son 
of Priam, king of Troy, that if he would pronounce her the most beautiful of the 
goddesses, he should have for wife the handsomest woman of his time, Helen, wife 
of Menelaus, king of Sparta. Paris granted the boon, and then going to Sparta 
carried off Helen to Troy. Menelaus, smarting under this wrong, appealed to the 

Grecian princes for help. They assembled 
under his brother Agamemnon, king of My- 
cenae. One hundred thousand men sailed away 
in eleven hundred and eighty-six ships across 
the Eg6an, and invested Troy. The siege 
lasted ten years. Hector " of the beamy 
helm," son of Priam, was the bravest leader 
of the Trojans. Achilles, the first of Grecian 
waiTiors, slew him in single combat, and 
dragged his body at his chariot-wheels in in- 
solent triumph around the walls of the city. 
But the "lion-hearted" Achilles fell in turn, 
" for so the fates had decreed." Troy was finally taken by stratagem. The Greeks 
feigned to retire, leaving behind them as an offering to Minerva, a great wooden horse. 
This was reported to be purposely of such vast bulk, in order to prevent the Trojans 
fiom taking it into the city, as that would be fatal to the Grecian cause. The deluded 



to express their views upon political * affairs. The power 
of the kings gradually diminished until most of the cities 
became republics, or commonwealths. In some cases the 
authority was held by a few distinguished and ancient 
families. If good, it was styled an aristocracy {aristos, 
best) ; but if bad, an oligarchy {oligos, few). In a democracy, 
any citizen could hold office and vote in the assembly. At 
Sparta there were always two kings, although in time they 
lost most of their power. 

The Dorian Migration was one of the first clearly- 
defined events of Grecian history. After the Trojan war 
the ties which had temporarily held the princes together 
were loosed, and a general shifting of the tribes ensued. 
The Dorians — a brave, hardy race — descended from the 
mountains, and moved south in search of homes. f They 
conquered the Achaeans in the Peloponnesus, and occupied 
the chief cities — Argos, Corinth, and Sparta. (About the 
eleventh century b. c.) 

Grecian Colonies. — Hellas was greatly extended in con- 
sequence of these changes. A part of the Achaeans fled 
northward, dispossessing the lonians, many of whom emi- 
grated to Asia Minor, Avhere they founded the Ionic colonies, 
among which were Ephesus {Acts xix. 1 ; xx. 15) and Mile'- 

iiihabitants fell into the snare, and eagerly dragged the unwieldy monster within their 
walls. That night a body of men concealed in the hors^e crept out, threw open the 
gates and admitted the Grecians, who had quietly returned. From the terrible mas- 
sacre which ensued, ^neas, a famous Trojan chief, escaped with a few followers. 
His subsequent adventures form the theme of VirgiPs yEneid, the famous Latin 
poem. Homer's Odyssey tells the wanderings of the crafty Ulysses, king of Ithaca, 
during his journey home from Troy, and the trials of his faithful wife Penelope 
during his absence. 

* It is curious that the word "politics " is .ierived from the Greek word for city, 
and meant in its original form only the affairs of the city. The Hellenes, unlike 
most other Aryans (except the Italians, who were of the same swarm), from the very 
first gathered in cities. 

t This event is known in Grecian history as "The Return of the Heraclei'dse. 
The Dorians were induced by the desceirlants of Hercules to support their claim to 
the throne of Argos, whence their ancestor had been driven by the family of Pelops. 

118 GREECE. 

tus. Similarly, the ^olians had already founded the jEoUc 
colonies. Finally the Dorians were tempted to cross the sea 
and establish the Doric colonies, chief of which was Rhodes 
(map, p. 11). In subsequent times of strife many Greek 
citizens grew discontented, and left their houies to try their 
fortune in new lands. The colonial cities also soon became 
strong enough to plant new settlements. Every opportunity 
to extend their commerce or political influence was eagerly 
seized by these energetic explorers. In the palmy days of 
Greece, the Euxine and the Propontis (Sea of Marmora) 
were fringed with Hellenic towns. The Ionian cities, at the 
time of the Persian conquest (p. 124), " extended ninety miles 
along the coast in an almost uninterrupted line of magnificent 
quays, warehouses, and dwellings." On the African shore 
was the rich Gyrene, the capital of a prosperous state. Sicily, 
with her beautiful city of Syracuse, was like a Grecian island. 
Southern Italy was long called Magna Grsecia (Great Greece). 
The Phoenicians, the seamen and traders of these times, 
almost lost the commerce of the eastern Mediterranean. On 
the western coast, the Greeks possessed the flourishing colony 
of Massilia (Marseilles), and had it not been for the rising 
power of Carthage would have secured nearly the entire 
shore, and transformed the Mediterranean into a " Grecian 

Wherever the Greek went, he remained a Greek. He 
carried with him into barbarian lands the Hellenic language, 
manners, and civilization. In the colonies the natives learned 
the Grecian tongue, and took on the Grecian mode of thought 
and worship. Moreover, the transplanted Greek matured 
faster than the home-growth. S*o it happened that in the 
magnificent cities which grew up in Asia Minor, philosophy, 
letters, the arts and sciences, bloomed even sooner than in 
Greece itself. 



LllJ /Eolians l ZZj lonians 
I lAchaeans ^^9 Dorians 

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Sparta and Athens. — The Dorians and the lonians 
came to be the leading races in Greece. Their diverse 
characteristics had a great influence on its history. The 
Dorians were rough and plain in their habits, sticklers for 
the old customs, friends of an aristocracy, and bitter ene- 
mies of trade and the fine arts. The lonians, on the other 
hand, were refined in their tastes, fond of change, demo- 
cratic, commercial, and passionate lovers of music, painting, 
and sculpture. The rival cities, Sparta and Athens, repre- 
sented these opposing traits. Their deep-rooted hatred was 
the cause of numerous wars which convulsed the country. 
For, in the sequel, we shall find that the Grecians spent 
their best blood in fighting among themselves, and Grecian 
history is mostly occupied with the doings of these tv/o 


Early History. — One of the Dorian bands occupied 
Lacedaemon, called also Sparta from its grain fields (sparte, 
sown land). The former owners (termed permhi, dwellers- 
around) were allowed to keep the poorest of the lands, and 
to be tradesmen and mechanics. But they could neither 
have voice in the government nor intermarry with their 
Dorian conquerors, who now came to be called Spartans. 
The latter took the best farms, and compelled their slaves 
(helots) to work them. The helots were captives or rebels, 
and were at first few, but in the succeeding wars rapidly 
increased. The Spartans (only nine thousand strong in the 
time of Lycurgus), planted thus in the midst of a hostile 
population, were forced to live like soldiers on guard. 

In the rest of the Peloponnesus the Dorians betook 
themselves to peaceful pursuits and mingled with the 

120 GREECE. [850 B.C. 

natives. But in Sparta there was no relaxation, no blending. 
The Dorians there kept on their cold, cruel way. They 
were constantly quarreling among themselves, and so little 
gain did they make that two and a half centuries passed and 
the Achagans were still fortified only little over two miles 
away from Sparta. 

Lycurgus (850 b.c.), a member of the royal family, 
finally crystallized into a constitution all the peculiarities 
of the Spartan character. His whole aim was to make the 
Spartans a race of soldiers. Trade and travel were pro- 
hibited.^ No money was allowed except cumbrous iron coins, 
which no foreigner would take. Most property, as slaves, 
horses, dogs, etc., was held in common. Boys were removed 
from home at the age of seven, and educated by state officers. 
The men ate at public tables, slept in barracks, and could 
visit their homes only occasionally.* Private life was given 
up for the good of the state and devoted to military drill. 

The two kings were retained ; but their power was limited 
by a senate of twenty-eight men over sixty years old, and an 
assembly of all the citizens. Five ephors (overseers) were 
chosen annually by the assembly, and these were the real 
rulers. No popular discussion was allowed, nor could a 
private citizen speak in the assembly without special leave 
from a magistrate. Thus the government became in fact 
an oligarchy under the guise of a monarchy. The people 
having promised to live under this constitution until he 
should return, Lycurgus left Sparta and was never heard of 

The Supremacy of Sparta dates from this time. " A 
mere garrison in a hostile country, she became the mistress 

* Agis, a man of high rank, on his return from a long and triumphant expedition, 
ventured to send for his broth, that he might eat his first meal at home with his wife. 
This foolish show of sentiment was punished by a heavy fine. 



of Laconia." The conquest of Messenia in two long, bloody 
wars, made her dominant in the Peloponnesus. This was 
preceded and followed by several minor wars, all tending 
to increase her territory and establish ber authority over her 
neighbors. At the beginning of the 5th century b. c. the 
Spartans were ready to assert their position as the leaders in 
Grecian affairs, and had already repeatedly carried their 
arms across the Isthmus into Attica, when, at this juncture, 
all Greece was threatened by the Persian forces (p. 124). 


Early History. — Athens, like the other Grecian cities, 
was governed for a time by kings. Cecrops, the first ruler, 
according to the legends, taught the 
people of Attica navigation, marriage, 
and the culture of the ohve. Codrus, 
the last monarch, fell (1050 b. c.) while 
resisting the Dorians. After his death 
the nobles selected one of the royal 
family, as arclion or chief. At first the 
archon ruled for life ; afterward the 
term was shortened to ten years, and 
finally to one, the nobles choosing nine 
archons from their own number. Thus 
Athens became an aristocratic republic. 

Draco (624 b.c). — But the demo- 
cratic spirit was rife. The people com- coin of athens. 
plained that they got no justice from 
the nobles, and the demand for written laios became so 
urgent that Draco was directed to prepare a code. His laws 
were so merciless that they were said to have been written 



[624 B. c. 


in blood, every offence being punished with death. To avoid 
the popular indignation, Draco fled, and his name is to this 
day synonymous with cruelty. 

Solon* (594 B.C.).— Party strife now prevailed. The 
state being threatened with anarchy, Solon was appointed to 
draft a new constitution. He repealed the harsh edicts of 
Draco ; relieved those who were in debt ; f bought the free- 
dom of many who had 
been sold as slaves ; 
forbade parents to sell 
or pawn their children; 
ordered every parent 
to teach his sons a 
trade ; and required 
sons to support their 
father in old age, provided he had given them an education. 
His plan was to weaken the nobles and to strengthen the 
people. He therefore gave every free-born native of Attica 
a vote in the assembly, where laws were enacted, archons 
elected, and officers held accountable for their conduct. 

Property, instead of birth, now gave rank. The people 
were divided into four classes according to their income. 
Only the three richest classes could hold office, but they 
had to pay the taxes and to equip themselves as soldiers. 
The wealthiest could serve as archons, while only those who 
had held that office were eligible to the ancient Court of 
Areopagus. J This court repealed laws which were hurtful 

* This famous Athenian lawgiver was descended from the ancient kings, but 
poverty forced him to earn his livelihood. Gaining a fortune by commerce he retired 
from business. He then, according to the custom of the scholars of that day, traveled 
to the East in search of knowledge. Such was his sagacity and judgment that he was 
reckoned one of the Seven Wise Men of Greece. (Appendix.) 

+ In that age a man unable to pay his debts was liable to be sold into slavery. 
See Nehemiah v. 3, 5 ; 2 Kings iv. 1. The punishments in early times were all severe. 
Read Matt. v. 38. 

X So called because the meetings were held on the hill known by that name 
(Acts xvii. 19). 


to the state, looked after the morals of the people, and re- 
buked any person who lived unworthy of an Athenian, or 
who was not properly bringing up his children. A senate of 
four hundred, selected annually by lot, was to prepare the 
business presented in the assembly. 

Tyrants.* — Athens prospered under Solon's wise manage- 
ment. The people got their rights. The mortgage-pillars f 
disappeared. But moderate measures, as is often the case, 
pleased neither extreme of society. Local factions strove 
for power. One day Pisis'tratus, a noble aspiring to office, 
rushed, besmeared with blood, into the market-place, and, 
pointing to his self-inflicted wounds, asked for a guard, 
pretending that the other nobles had attacked him because 
he was a friend of the people. X This request being 
granted, ere long he seized the Acropolis and became the 
first tyrant of Athens. His rule, however, was so beneficent 
that one would fain forget how craftily he secured his place. 
He established Solon's laws, erected beautiful public build- 
ings, encouraged art, founded the first library, and collected 
and published the scattered ballads of Homer. 

The tyrant's sons, Hipinas and Hipparchus, trod in his 
steps. But the latter having been assassinated, the brother 
became moody and cruel. His enemies, led by the Alcmseo- 
nidae, § bribed the oracle at Delphi, so that when the Lace- 

* The Greeks applied this name at first to a person who became king in a city 
where the law did not authorize one. Afterward the Tyrants became cruel, and the 
word took on the meaning which we now give it. 

t It was customary among the Greeks, when a farm was given as security for the 
payment of money, to set up a stone pillar at the comer with the sum loaned and 
the name of the lender engraved upon it. 

X Solon detected the sham and with bitter wit declared, " You are but a bad imi- 
tation of Ulysses. He wounded himself to delude his enemies ; you to deceive your 

§ This name came into prominence in the following way : At the time Draco's 
Btern laws aroused so much feeling, a noble r.amed Cylon attempted to make himself 
tyrant. He seized the Acropolis but was defeated, and his followers, half dead with 
hunger, were forced to take refuge at the altars of tlie gods. The archon MegSclee 

134 GREECE. [510B.C. 

dsemonians consulted the priestess, they received the reply, 
** Athens must be freed." The Spartans accordingly invaded 
Attica and drove away the tyrant (510 b. c). Hippias went 
over to the Persian court, and was henceforth the declared 
enemy of his native city. We shall hear from him again. 

Democracy Established. — It turned out, however, that 
aristocratic Sparta had only paved the way for a republic. 
For Cleis'tJienes, an Athenian noble, the head of the Alcmge- 
onidae but now the candidate of the people's party, became 
archon. All freemen of Attica were admitted to citizenship. 
In order to break up the four old tribes, and prevent the 
nobles from raising parties among the people of their clans, 
or according to local interests, he divided the country into 
districts, and organized ten new tribes by uniting non- 
adjacent districts. Each tribe sent fifty representatives to 
the senate, and also chose a strategus or general, the ten 
generals to command the army in daily turn. 

The triumph of democracy was complete. Four times a 
month all Athens met to deliberate and decide upon public 
questions. *^The Athenians then," says Herodotus, "grew 
mighty, and it became plain that liberty is a brave thing." 

It was now near the beginning of the 5th century B. c. 
Both Sparta and Athens had risen to power, when all Greece 
was threatened by a new foe. The young civilization of the 
West was, for the first time, called to meet the old civiliza- 
tion of the East. In the presence of a common danger the 
warring states united. The next twenty years were stirring 
ones in the annals of freedom. 

induced them to surrender on the promise of their lives. Scarcely, however, had 
they left the altars than his soldiers cut them down. Soon after, a plague broke out, 
which was considered a judgment of the gods for this impious act. The Athenians, 
believing tjiat a curse had thus fallen on their city, finally forced the Alcmceonidce 
(the clan of Megacles) into exile, and called Epimenides, a prophet of Crete, to 
atone for and purify the city. The AlcmseonidsB were wealthy, and to make amends 
for their impiety they undertook to rebuild the temple at Delphi, which had been 
burnt down. The contract called for common stone, but they faced the building with 
fine marble, thus gaining the favor of the Delphic oracle. 

500 B. c] 




Cause. — The Persian empire now reached the borders of 
Thessaly. The Grecian colonies in Asia Minor had fallen 
into the hands of Cyrus; and the conquering armies of 
Darius were already threatening the freedom of Greece it- 
self, when an act of Athens hastened the struggle. The 




- - ri.., „f r^^,i, 


Ionian cities having tried to throw off the Persian yoke, the 
mother city sent them aid.* The Great King subdued the 
Ionic revolt, and then turned to punish the haughty foreign- 
ers who had dared to meddle in the affairs of his empire, 

* During the brief campaign of the Athenians in Asia Minor, Sardis, the capital 
of Lydia, was accidentally burned. When Darius received this news he took a bow 
and shot an arrow to the sky, with a prayer to Ahura Mazda for help ; and that he 
might not forget the insult he ordered that, at dinner each day, a servant should call 
out thrice, " Mai^ter, remember the Athenians." 



[493 B. G 

and also to force the Athenians to receive back Hippias 
(p. 124) as their tyrant. 

The First Expedition (493 B.C.) against Greece was 
sent out under Mardonius, the son-in-law of Darius. The 
land troops were defeated in Thrace, and the fleet was shat- 
tered while rounding Mount Athos. Mardonius returned 
without having set foot into the region he went to conquer. 
Second Expedition. — Darius, full of fury, began at once 
raising a new army. Meanwhile heralds were dispatched 
to demand the surrender of the Grecian cities. Many sent 
back earth and water, the oriental symbols of vassalage ; 
Sparta and Athens refused, the former throwing the envoys 
into a deep well, bidding them find there the tokens of sub- 

Battle of Marathon (490 b. c). — This time the Persian 
fleet of six hundred triremes safely crossed the ^gean, and 
landed a large army on the famous field of Marathon, only 

twenty-two miles from 
Athens. Miltiades (to 
whom the other strategi 
had surrendered their 
days of command) went 
out to meet them with 
but ten thousand sol- 
diers. The usual prayers 
and sacrifices were of- 
fered, but it was late in 
the day ere the auspices 
became favorable so that he dared hazard an attack. Finding 
that the Persians had placed their best troops at the center, 
Miltiades put opposite them a weak line of men, and 
stationed heavy files of his choicest soldiers on the wings. 
Giving the enemy no time to liurl their javelins, lie imme- 



490 B. c] 







diately charged at full speed, 
and came at once to a hand- 
to-hand fight. The strong 
wings swept all before them, 
and then, wheeling, fell upon 
both flanks of the victorious 

Persian center. In a few moments the Asiatic host were 
wildly fleeing to their ships.* 

* The Spartans had promised aid, but from religious scruples the troops were 
unwilling to march until the full moon, and so did not arrive till after the battle. A 
thousand men from Plataea— all the little city had— stood by the side of the Athenians 
on that memorable day. When the victory was won, Phidippides, the swiftest run- 
ner in Greece, ran with the tidings, and, reaching Athens, had breath only to tell the 
news when he fell dead in the street. Seven of the Persian vessels were captured by 
the pursuing Greeks. The brother of ^schylus. the poet, is said to have caught a 
trireme by the stem, and to have held it until his hand was hacked off by the enemy. 
Hardly had the "Persians and Athenians separated from the last conflict on the beach 
when the attention of both was arrested by a flash of light on the summit of Mount 
Pentelicus, It was the reflection of the setting sun on the glittering surface of an 
uplifted shield. MUtiades at once saw in this a signal from the traitors in Athens 
inviting the fleet to join them before he returned. Not a moment was to be lost, and 
he ordered an instant march to the city. When the Persian ships arrived they found 
the heroes of Marathon drawn up on the beach awaiting them. 

128 GREECE. [490 B.C. 

Tlie effect* of this victory was to render the reputation 
of Athens for valor and patriotism equal, if not suj)erior, to 
that of Sparta. The Persian invasion made a union of the 
Hellenic states possible, and Marathon decided that Athens 
should be the leader. 

Greece was saved, and her deliverer, Miltiades, was for a 
time the favorite hero, but a disgraceful expedition to the 
isle of Paros cost him his popularity, and soon after his 
return he died. 

Themistocles and Aristi'des, generals associated with 
Miltiades at Marathon, now came to be the leading men in 
Athens. The former was an able but often unscruj^ulous 
statesman; the latter a just man ^ndan incorruptible patriot. 
Themistocles foresaw that the Persians would make a fresh 
attempt to subdue Greece, and that Athens with its excellent 
harbor and commercial facilities could be far stronger on sea 

* " So ended what may truly be called the birthday of Athenian greatness. It 
stood alone in their annals. Other glories were won in after times, but none ap 
proached the glory of Marathon. It was not merely the ensuing generation that felt 
the effects of that wonderful deliverance. It was not merely Themistocles whom 
the marble trophy of Miltiades would not suffer to sleep. It was not merely .^Eschy- 
lus, who, when his end drew near, passed over all his later achievements in war and 
peace, at Salamis, and in the Dionysiac theatre, and recorded in his epitaph only the 
one deed of his early days— that he had repulsed the ' long-haired Medes at Marathon.' 
It was not merely the combatants in the battle who told of supernatural assistance 
in the shape of the hero Theseus, or of the mysterious peasant, wielding a gigantic 
ploughshare. Everywhere in the monuments and the customs of their country, and 
for centuries afterward, all Athenian citizens were reminded of that great day, and 
of that alone. The frescoes of a painted portico— the only one of the kind in 
Athens— exhibited in lively colors the scene of the battle. The rock of the Acropolis 
was crowned on the eastern extremity by a temple of Wingless Victory, now sup- 
posed to have taken up her abode forever in the city ; and in its northern precipice, 
the cave^ which up to this time had remained untenanted, was consecrated to Pan, 
in commemoration of the mysterious voice which rang through the Arcadian moun- 
tains to cheer the forlorn messenger on his empty-handed return from Sparta. The 
one hundred and ninety-two Athenians who had fallen on the field received the 
honor — unique in Athenian history — of burial on the scene of thiir death (the 
tumulus raised over their bodies by Aristldes still remains to mark the spot) ; their 
names were invoked with hymns and sacrifices down to the latest times of Grecian 
freedom ; and long after that freedom had been extinguished, even in the reign of 
Trajan and the Antonines, the anniversary of Marathon was still celebrated, and 
the battle-field was believed to be haunted, night after night, by the snorting of 
unearthly chaigers and the clash of invisible combatants." 


than on land. He therefore urged the building of a fleet. 
Aristides, fond of the old ways, condemned this measure. 
Themistocles, dreading the opposition, secured the ostracism * 
of his rival. 

Third Eszpedition. — Darius died ere he could make a 
new attempt to punish Athens. But his son Xerxes assem- 
bled over a million soldiers, whom he led in person across 
the Hellespont and along the coast of Thrace and Macedonia. 
A fleet of twelve hundred war-ships and three thousand 
transports kept within easy reach from the shore, f 

Battle of Thermopylae (480 b. c.).— At the pass of 
Thermopylae his march was checked by seven thousand 
Greeks under Leonidas, a Spartan. Xerxes sent a messenger 
to demand their arms. He received the laconic reply, 
** Come and take them." For two days the Greeks repulsed 
every attack, and the terrified Persians had to be driven 
to the assault with whips. On the third day a traitor having 
pointed out to Xerxes a mountain-path, he sent the Immortals 
into the rear of the Grecian post. It was the Spartan law 
that a soldier should die but not yield. So Leonidas, learn- 
ing of the peril, sent away his allies, retaining only three 
hundred Spartans and seven hundred Thespians, who wished 
to share in the glory of the day. The little band prepared 

* This measure was introduced by Cleisthenes. An urn was placal in the assem- 
bly, and any citizen could drop into it a shell (ostf^akon) bearing the name of the 
person he wished exiled. When six thousand votes were tbrown against a man 
he was banished for ten years. It is said that, on this occasion, a countryman coming 
to Aristides, whom he did not know, asked him to write Aristides on his shell. 
"Why, what wrong has he done?" inquired the patriot. "None at all," was the 
reply, "only 1 am tired of hearing him called the Just." 

t Two magnificent bridges of boats which he built across the Hellespont having 
been injured in a storm, the story is that Xerxes ordered the sea to be beaten with 
whips, and fetters to be thrown into it to show that he was its master. The vast 
army was seven days in crossing. The king sat on a throne of white marble in- 
specting the army as it passed. It consisted of forty-six difl'erent nations, each 
armed and dressed after its own manner, while ships manned by Phoenicians covered 
the sea, Xerxes is said to have burst into tears when he thought how in a few years 
not one of all that immense throng would be alive. 



[480 B. C, 

for battle — the Spartans combing their long hair, according 
to custom— and then, scorning to await the attack, dashed 
down the defile to meet the on-coming enemy. All perished, 
fighting to the last.* 



* " Xerxes could not believe Deraaratus, who assured him that the Spartans at 
least were come to dispute the Pass with him, and that it was their custom to trim 
their hair on the eve of a combat. Four days passed before he could be convinced 
that his army must do more than show itself to clear a way for him. On the fifth day 
he ordered a body of Median and Cissian troops to fall upon the rash and insolent 
enemy, and to lead them captive into his presence. He was seated on a lofty throne 
from which he could survey the narrow entrance of the Pass, which, in obedience to 
his commands, his warriors endeavored to force. But they fought on ground where 
their numbers were of no avail, save to increase their confusion, when their attack 
was repulsed : their short spears could not reach their foe ; the foremost fell, the 
hinder advancing over their bodies to the charge ; their repeated onsets broke upon 
the Greeks idly, as waves upon a rock. At length, as the day wore on, the Medians 
and Cissians, spent with their efforts and greatly thinned in their ranks, were recalled 
from the contest, which the king now thought worthy of the superior prowess of his 
own guards, the ten thousand Immortals. They were led up as to a certain and easy 
victory ; the Greeks stood their ground as before ; or if they ever gave way and turned 
their backs, it was only to face suddenly about, and deal tenfold destruction on their 
pursuers. Thrice during these fruitless assaults the king was seen to start up from 
his throne in a transport of fear or rage. The combat lasted the whole day ; the 
slaughter of the barbarians was great ; on the side of the Greeks a few Spartan lives 
were lost ; as to the rest, nothing is said. The next day the attack was renewed 
with no better success ; the bands of the several cities that made up the Grecian 
army, except the Phocians, who were employed in defending the mountain-path by 
Which the defile was finally turned, relieved each other at the post of honor ; all stood 
equally firm, and repelled the charge not less vigorously than before. The confidence 
of Xerxes was changed into despondence and pei*plexity," 




The sacrifice of Leomdcu became the inspiration of all 
Greece, and has been the admiration of the lovers of free- 
dom in every age. The names of the three hundred were 
familiar to their countrymen, and, six hundred years after, 
a traveler spoke of seeing them inscribed on a pillar at 
Sparta. Upon the mound where the last stand was made 
a marble lion was erected to Leonidas, and a pillar to the 

132 - GREECE. 


three hundred bore this inscription, written by Simonides 
(p. 164): 

" Go, stranger, and to Lacedaemon tell 
That here, obeying her behests, we fell." 

Battle of Sal' amis,— At first, however, the loss at Ther- 
mopylae seemed in vain, and the Asiatic deluge poured south 
over the plains of Greece. Warned by the oracle that the 
safety of Athens lay in her '^ wooden wall," the inhabitants 
deserted the city, which Xerxes burned. The ocean, how- 
ever, seemed to ^' fight for Grreece." In a storm the Persian 
fleet lost two hundred ships. But it was still so much supe- 
rior that the Greeks were fearful, and as usual quarreling,* 
when Themistocles determined to bring on the battle, and 
accordingly sent a spy to the enemy to say that his country- 
men would escape if they were not attacked immediately. 
Thereupon the Persians blockaded the Hellenic fleet in the 
harbor of Salamis. Animated by the spirit of Thermopyla? 
the Grecians silenced their disputes and rushed to the fray„ 
They quickly defeated the Phoenician ships in the van, and 
then the very multitude of the vessels caused the ruin of the 
Persian fleet. For while some were trying to escape and 

* "All the Thessalians, Locrians, and Boeotians, except the cities of Thespiaj 
and Plataea, sent earth and water to the Persian king at the first call to submit, 
although these tokens of subjection were attended by the curses of the rest of the 
Greeks, and the vow that a tithe of their estates should be devoted to the city of Delphi. 
Yet of the Greeks who did not favor Persia, some were willing to assist only on con- 
dition of being appointed to conduct and command the whole ; others, if their coun- 
try could be the first to be protected ; others sent a squadron, which was ordered to 
wait till it was certain which side would gain the victory ; and others pretended they 
were held back by the declarations of an oracle." — An oft-told story, given in con- 
nection with this engagement, illustrates the jealousy of the Grecian generals. They 
were met to decide upon the prize for skill and wisdom displayed in the contest. 
When the votes were collected, it appeared that each commander had placed his own 
name first and that of Themistocles second.— While the Grecian leaders at Salamis 
were deliberating over the propriety of retreat and Themistocles alone held firm, a 
knock was heard at the door, and Themistocles was called out to speak with a 
stranger. It was the banished Aristides. " Themistocles," said he, " let us be rivals 
still, but let our strife be which best may serve our country." He had crossed from 
^gina in an open boat to inform his countrymen that they were surrounded by the 


some to come to the front, the Greeks, amid the confusion 
plying every weapon, sunk two hundred vessels and put the 
rest to flight. 

Xerxes, seated on a lofty throne erected on the beach, 
watched the contest. Terrified by the destruction of his 
fleet he fled into Asia, leaving three hundred and fifty 
thousand picked troops under Mardonius to continue the war. 

Battle of Himera. — While the hosts of Xerxes were pour- 
ing into Hellas on the northeast, she was simultaneously 
assailed on the southwest by another formidable foe. An 
immense fleet, consisting of three thousand ships-of-war, 
sailing from Carthage to Sicily, landed an army under 
Hamilcar, the famous Carthaginian leader, who laid siege 
to Himera. Gelo, the tyrant of Syracuse, marched to the 
relief of that city and, on the very day of Salamis, utterly 
routed the Phoenician forces. The t3rranny of the commer- 
cial oligarchy of Carthage might have been as fatal to the 
liberties of Europe as the despotism of Persia. 

Battle of Platcea (4T9 b. c). — Mardonius wintered in 
Thessaly, and the next summer invaded Attica. The half- 
rebuilt houses of Athens were again leveled to the ground. 
Finally the allies, one hundred and ten thousand strong, 
took the field under Pausanias, the Spartan. After the two 
armies had faced each other for ten days, want of water 
compelled Pausanias to move his camp. While en route 
Mardonius attacked his scattered forces. The omens were 
unfavorable, and the Grecian leader dare not give the signal 
to engage. The Spartans protected themselves with their 
shields as best they could against the shower of arrows. 
Many Greeks were smitten and fell, lamenting not that they 
must fall, but that they could not strike a blow for their 
country. In his distress Pausanias lifted up his streaming 
eyes toward the temple of Hera, beseeching the goddess that. 

134 GREECE. [479 b. c. 

if the fates forbade the Greeks to conquer, they might die 
like men. Suddenly the sacrifices became auspicious. The 
Spartans charging in compact rank, shield touching shield, 
with their long spears swe]3t all before them. The Athenians 
coming up stormed the intrenched camp. Scarcely forty 
thousand Persians escaped. The booty was immense. 
Wagons were piled up with vessels of gold and silver, jewels, 
and articles of luxury. One tenth of all the plunder was 
dedicated to the gods. The prize of valor was adjudged to 
the Plataeans, and they were charged to preserve the graves 
of the slain, Pausanias promising with a solemn oath that 
the battle-field should be sacred forever. 

That same day the Grecian fleet having crossed the 
^Egean, destroyed the Persian fleet at Mycale in Asia Minor. 

The effect of Marathon, Thermopylae, Salamis, Platsea, 
and Mycale was to give the death-blow to Persian rule in 
Europe. Grecian valor had saved a continent from eastern 
slavery and barbarism. More than that, the Persian wars gave 
rise to the real Hellenic civilization, and Marathon and Sala- 
mis may be looked upon as the birth-places of Grecian glory. 

Athenian Supremacy. — Greece was now, to paraphrase 
the language of Diodorus, at the head of the world, Athens 
at the head of Greece, and Themistocles at the head of 
Athens. The city of Athens was quickly rebuilt. During 
the recent war the Spartan soldiers had taken the lead, but 
Pausanias afterward proved a traitor, and as Athens was so 
strong in ships she became the acknowledged leader of all 
the Grecian states. A league, called the Confederation of 
Delos (477 b. c), was formed to keep the Persians out of the 
^gean. The different cities annually contributed to Athens 
a certain number of ships, or a fixed sum of money for the 
support of the navy. The ambition of Themistocles was to 
form a grand maritime empire, but his share in the treason 

478 B.C.] 



of Pausanias having been disco vered, be was ostracized. 
Aristides, seeing the drift of affairs, bad cbanged bis views, 
and was already tbe popular commander of tbe fleet. 
Though the head of .the party of the nobles, be secured a 
law abolishing the property qualification, and allowing any 
person to hold office.* 





(479-429 B.C.) 

The leading men at Athens, after the death of Aristides, 
were Pericles and Gimon. The heroes of the Persian In- 
vasions had passed from the stage, and new actors now 

* The thoughtful student of history caunot but pause here to consider the fate 
of these three great contemporary men— Pausanias, Themistocles, and Aristides. 
Pausanias fled to the temple of Minerva. The Spartans, not daring to violate this 
sanctuary, blocked the door (the traitor's mother laying the first stone), tore off the 
roof, guarded every avenue, and left the wretch to die of col 1 and hunger. Themis- 
tocles was welcomed by Artaxerxes, then king of Persia, and assigned the revenue 
of three cities. He lived like a prince, but finally ended his pitiable existence, it is 
said, with poison. Aristides the Just went down to his grave full of honors. The 
treasurer of the league, he had yet been so honest that he did not leave enough money 
to meet his funeral expenses. The grateful republic paid these rites, finished the 
education of his son, and portioned his daughters. 

136 GREECE. [466 B.C. 

Cimon * renewed the glory of his father Miltiades, the 
Yictor at Marathon. He pushed on the war in Asia Minor 
against Persia with great vigor, finally routing her land 
and sea forces in the decisive battle of the EurymMon 
(466 B. 0.). As the head of the nobles he was naturally 
friendly to aristocratic Sparta. The Helots and Messenians, 
taking advantage of an earthquake which nearly destroyed 
that city, revolted, and a ten-years struggle (known in his- 
tory as the Third Messenian War) ensued. The haughty 
Spartans were driven to ask aid from Athens. By the in- 
fluence of Cimon this was granted. But the Spartans were 
fearful of such allies, and ungraciously sent the army home. 
All Athens at once rose in indignation at this outrage. 
Cimon was ostracized (461 b. c). 

Pericles,! who was the leader of the democracy, now 

* Cimon was the richest man in Athens. He kept open table for the pubhc. 
A body of servants laden with cloaks followed him through the streets, and gave a 
garment to any needy person whom he met. His pleasure-garden was free for all to 
enter and pluck fruit or flowers. He planted oriental plune-trees in the market-place ; 
bequeathed to Athens the groves, afterward the Academy of Plato, with its beautiful 
fountains , built marble colonnades where the people were wont to promenade ; and 
gave magnificent dramatic entertainments at his private expense. 

t " To all students of Grecian literature Pericles must always appear as the central 
figure of Grecian history. His form, manner, and outward api)earance are well 
known. We can imagine that stern and almost forbidding aspect which repelled 
rather than invited intimacy ; the majestic stature ; the long head — long to dispro- 
portion — already before his fiftieth year silvered over with the marks of age.; the 
sweet voice and rapid enunciation— recalling, though by an unwelcome association, 
the likeness of his ancestor Pisistratus. We knew the stately reserve which reigned 
through his whole life and manners. Those grave features were never seen to relax 
into laughter— twice only in his long career to melt into tears. For the whole forty 
years of his administration he never accepted an invitation to dinner but once, and 
that to his nephew's wedding, and then stayed only till the libation (p. 199). That 
princely courtesy could never be disturbed by the bitterest persecution of aristocratic 
enmity or popular irritation. To the man who had followed him all the way from the 
Assembly to his own house, loading him with the abusive epithets with which, as 
we know from Aristophanes, the Athenian vocabulary was so richly stored, he paid 
no other heed than, on arriving at his own door, to turn to his torch-bearer with an 
order to light his reviler home. In public it was the same. Amidst the passionate 
gesticulations of Athenian oratory, amidst the tempest of an Athenian mob, his self- 
possession was never lost, his dress was never disordered, his language was ever 
studied and measured. Every speech that he delivered he wrote down previously. 
Every time that he spoke he offered up a prayer to Heaven that no word might escape 
his lips which he should wish unsaid. But when he did speak the effect was almost 


had everything his own way. A mere private citizen, living 
plainly and unostentatiously, this great-hearted man was 
able during his lifetime, by the spell of his eloquence and 
the force of his genius, to shape the policy of the state. He 
was bent on keeping Athens all-powerful in Greece, and on 
making the people all-powerful in Athens. He had perfect 
confidence in a government by the masses, if they were only 
properly educated. There were then no common schools, 
or daily papers, and he was forced to use what the times 
supplied. He paid the people so they could afford to sit on 
jury and attend the Assembly to listen to the discussion of 
public affairs. He had the grand dialogues of ^schylus, 
Euripides, and Sophocles performed free before the multi- 
tude. He erected magnificent public buildings, and adorned 
them with the noblest historical paintings. He made the 
temples of the gods grand and pure with beautiful architec- 
ture and the exquisite sculjitures of Phidias. He encouraged 
poets, artists, philosophers, and orators to do their best 
work. Under his fostering care the Age of Pericles became 
the finest blossom and fruitage of Hellenic civilization. 

Athens Ornamented and Fortified. — Matchless 
colonnades and temples were now erected, which are yet the 
wonder of the world. The Acropolis was so enriched with 

awful. The ' fierce democracy ' was struck down before it. It could be compared to 
nothing short of the thunders and lightnings of that Olympian Jove whom in majesty 
and dignity he resembled. It left the irresistible impression that he was always in 
the right. ' He not only throws me in the wrestle,' said one of his rivals, ' but when 
I have thrown him he will make the people think that it is I and not he who has 
fallen.'' What Themistocles, what Aristides. what Ephialtes, what Cimon said, has 
perished from the memory of their hearers. But the condensed and vivid images of 
Pericles, far more vivid in Grecian oratory, from their contrast with the general 
simplicity of ancient diction, than they would be now, were handed down from age 
to age as specimens of that eloquence which had held Athens and Greece in awe. 
' The lowering of the storm of war ' from Peloponnesus—' the spring taken out of the 
year' in the loss of the flower of Athenian youths— the comparison of Greece to ' a 
chariot drawn by two horses '— of ^gina to ' the eyesore of the Piraeus '—of Athens 
to ' the school of Greece ' — were amongst the traditionary phrases which later writers 
preserved, and which Thucydides either introduced or imitated in tUe F^nerol Ora- 
tion which he has put \n his mouth," 

J 38 


[455 li C. 

magnificent structures that it was called "the city of the 
gods." The Long Walls were built two hundred yards 
apart, and extended over four miles from Athens to Piraeus 
— its harbor. Thus the capital was connected with the sea, 
and, while the Athenians held the command of the ocean, 
their ships could bring them supplies, even when the city 
should be surrounded by an enemy on land. 


The wonderful spirit and enterprise of the Athenians are 
shown from the fact that, while they were thus erecting great 
public works at home, they were during a single year (458 b.c.) 
waging war in Cyprus, in Egypt, in Phoenicia, off ^gina. 


and on the coast of Peloponnesus. The Corinthians, know- 
ing that the Athenian troops were occupied so far from 
home, invaded Megara, then in alHance with Athens, but 
the "boys and old men" of Athens sallied out and routed 
them. So completely was the tide turned that (450 b. c.) 
Artaxerxes I. made a treaty with Athens agreeing to the 
independence of the Grecian cities in Asia Minor, and 
promising not to spread a sail on the ^gean Sea, nor bring 
a soldier within three-days march of its coast. 


(431-404 B.C.) 

Causes of the War. — The arrogant meddling of Athens 
in the affairs of her allies, and the use of their contributions 
(p. 134) in erecting her own public buildings, had aroused 
the bitterest hatred. Sparta, jealous of the glory and fame 
of her rival, watched every chance to interfere. The real 
question at issue, however, was the broad one whether the 
ruling power in Hellas should be Athens^Ionic, democratic 
and maritime, or Sparta — Doric, aristocratic and military. 
A quarrel having arisen between Corinth and her colony of 
Corcyra, Athens favored the latter ; Sparta, the former. 
Nearly all Greece took sides in the quarrel, according to 
race or political sympathy. The lonians and the democracy 
aided Athens ; the Dorians and the aristocracy, Sparta. 
Both parties were sometimes found within the same city 
contending for the supremacy. 

Allies of Athens. 
All the islands of the Mgea,n (except 
Melos and Thera), Corcyra, Zacynthus, 
Chios, Lesbos, and Samos ; the 
numerous Greek colonies on the coast 
of Asia Minor, Thrace, and Macedon ; 
Naupactus, Platsea, and a part of Acar- 

Allies of Sparta. 
All the states of the Peloponnesus 
(except Argos and Achaia, which re- 
mained neutral) ; Locris, Phocis, and 
Megara ; Ambracia, Anactorium, and 
the island of Leucas ; and the strong 
Boeotian League, of which Thebes was 
the bead, 

140 GREECE. [431 B.C. 

Conduct of the War. — The Spartan plan was to invade 
Attica, destroy the crops, and persuade the Athenian allies to 
desert her. As Sparta was strong on land and Athens on 
water, Pericles^ ordered the people of Attica to take refuge 
within the Long Walls of the city, while the fleet and army 
ravaged the coast of the Peloponnesus. When therefore 
Archidamus, king of Sparta, invaded Attica, the people 
flocked into the city with all their movable possessions. 
Temporary buildings were erected in every vacant place in 
the public squares and streets, while the poorest of the 
populace were forced to seek protection in squalid huts 
beneath the shelter of the Long Walls. Pitiable indeed was 
the condition of the inhabitants during these hot summer 
days as they saw the enemy, without hindrance, burning 
their homes and destroying their crops, while the Athenian 
fleet was off ravaging the coast of Peloponnesus. But it 
was worse the second year, when a fearful pestilence broke 
out in the crowded population. Many died, among them 
Pericles himself (429 B.C.).* This was the greatest loss of 
all, for there was no statesman left to guide the people. 

* " When, at the opening of the Peloponnesian War, the long enjoyment of every 
comfort which peace and civilization could hring was interrupted by hostile invasion; 
when the whole population of Attica was crowded within the city of Athens ; when 
to the inflammable materials which the populace of a Grecian town would always 
afford, were added the discontented landowners and peasants from the country, who 
were obliged to exchange the olive glades of Colonus, the thymy slopes of Hymettus, 
and the oak forests of Acharmfe, for the black shade of the Pelasgicum and the 
stifling huts along the dusty plain between the Long Walls ; when, without, were 
seen the fire and smoke ascending from the ravage of their beloved orchards and 
gardens ; and, within, the excitement was aggravated by the little knots which gath- 
ered at every corner and by the predictions of impending evil which were handed 
about from mouth to mouth ; when all these feelings, awakened by a situation so 
wholly new in a population so irritable, turned against one man as the author of the 
present distress, then it was seen how their respect for that one man united with 
their inherent respect for law to save the state. Not only did Pericles restrain the 
more eager spirits from sallying forth to defend their burning property— not only did 
he calm ajid elevate thoir despondency by his speeches in the Pnyx and Ceramicus — 
not only did he refuse to call an Assembly — but no attempt at an Assembly was ever 
made. The groups in the streets never grew into a mob, and even when to the hor- 
rors of a blockade were added those of a pestilence, public tranquillity was never for 
a moment disturbed— the order of the constitution was never for a moment infringed. 


Demagogues now arose, chief among whom was Cleoii, a 
cruel, arrogant boaster, who gained power by flattering the 
populace. About this time, also, the Spartans began to 
build ships to dispute the empire of the sea, on which 
Athens had so long triumphed. 

The memorable siege of Plataea, which began in the 
third year of the war, illustrates the desperation and destruc- 
tion which characterized this terrible struggle of twenty- 
seven years. In spite of Pausanias's oath (p. 134), Archida- 
mus with the Spartan army attacked this city, which was 
defended by only four hundred and eighty men. First, the 
Spartan general closed every outlet by a wooden palisade, 
and then constructed an inclined plane of earth and stone, 
up which his men could advance to hurl their weapons 
against the city. This work cost seventy-days labor of the 
whole army, but the garrison undermined the mound and 
destroyed it entirely. Next, the Spartans built around the 

And yet the man who thus swayed the minds of his fellow-citizens was the reverse 
of a demagogue. Unlike his aristocratic rival, Cimon, he never won their favor by 
indiscriminate bounty. Unlike his democratic successor, Cleon, he never influenced 
their passions by coarse invectives. Unlike his kinsman, Alcibiades, he never sought 
to dazzle them by a display of his genius or his wealth. At the very moment when 
Pericles was preaching the necessity of manful devotion to the common country, he 
was himself the greatest of sufferers. The epidemic carried off his two sons, his 
sister, several other relatives, and his best and most useful political friends. Amidst 
this train of calamities he maintained his habitual self-command, until the death of 
his favorite son Paralus left his house without a legitimate representative to maintain 
the family and its hereditary sacred rites. On this final blow— the greatest that, 
according to the Greek feeling, could befall any hum^n being— though he strove to 
command himself as before, yet at the obsequies of the young man, when it became 
his d'ity to place a garland on the dead body, his grief became uncontrollable, and he 
burst into tears. Every feeling of resentment seems to have passed away from the 
hearts of the Athenian people before the touching sight of the marble majesty of 
their great statesman yielding to the common emotion of their own excitable nature. 
Every measure was passed which could alleviate this deepest sorrow of his declining 
age. But it was too late, and he soon sank into the stupor from which he never 
recovered. As he lay apparently passive in the hands of the nurse, who had hung 
round his neck the amulets which in life and health he had scorned ; whilst his 
friends were dwelling with pride on the nine trophies which on Bceotia and Samos and 
on the shores of Peloponnesus bore witness to his success during his forty-years 
career, the dying man suddenly broke in with the emphatic words, 'That of which I 
am most proud you have left unsaid— No Athenian, through mj fault, was ever 
clothed in the black garb of mourning.' '''—Quarterly Review. 


city two concentric walls, and roofed over the space between 
them so as to give shelter to the soldiers on guard. For two 
long years the Platseans were shut in and endured all the 
horrors of a siege. Provisions now ran low, and one stormy 
December night a part of the men stole out of the gate, and 
placing their ladders against the Spartan wall, climbed to 
the top, killed the sentinels, and escaped through the midst 
of the enemy with the loss of only one man. The rest of 
the garrison were thus enabled to hold out some time longer. 
But at length their food was exhausted, and they were 
forced to surrender. The cruel Spartans put every man to 
death, and then, to please the Thebans, razed the city to 
the ground. Heroic little Plataea was thus blotted out of 
the map of Greece. 

Alcibiades, a young nobleman, the nephew of Pericles 
and pupil of Socrates, by his wealth, beauty, and talent, 
next won the ear of the crowd. Reckless and dissolute, 
with no heart, conscience, or principle, he cared for nothing 
except his own ambitious schemes. Though peace had then 
come through the negotiations of Nicias, the favorite 
Athenian general, it was broken by the influence of this 
demagogue, and the bloody contest renewed. 

Expedition to Sicily (415 b. c). — The oppressions of 
the tyrants of Syracuse, a Dorian city in Sicily, gave an ex- 
cuse for seizing that island, and Alcibiades advocated this 
brilliant scheme, which promised to make Athens irresistible. 
The largest fleet and army Hellas had yet sent forth were 
accordingly equipped. One morning, just before their de- 
parture, the busts of Hermes that were placed along the roads 
of Attica to mark the distance, and in front of the Athenian 
houses as protectors of the people, were found to be muti- 
lated. The populace in dismay, lest a curse should fall on 
the city, demanded the punishment of those who had com- 

144 GREECE. [415 B. c. 

mitted this sacrilegious act. It was probable that some 
drunken revelers had done the mischief; but the enemies of 
Alcibiades made the people belieye that he was the offender. 
After he sailed he was cleared of this charge, but a new one 
impended. This was that he had privately performed the 
Eleusinian mysteries (p. 184) for the amusement of his 
friends. To answer this heinous offence, Alcibiades was 
summoned home, but he escaped to Sparta, and gave the 
rival city the benefit of his powerful support. Meanwhile 
the exasperated Athenians condemned him to death, seized 
his property, and called upon the priests to pronounce him 

The expedition had now lost the only man who could 
have made it a success. Nicias, the commander, was old 
and sluggish. Disasters followed apace. Finally Gylippus, 
a famous Spartan general, came to the help of Syracuse. 
Athens sent a new fleet and army, but she did not furnish a 
better leader, and the reinforcement served only to increase 
the final ruin. In a great sea-fight in the harbor of Syracuse 
the Athenian ships were defeated, and the troops attempt- 
ing to flee by land were overtaken and forced to surrender 
(413 B. c). 

Fall of Athens. — The proud city was now doomed. 
Her best soldiers were dying in the dungeons of Syracuse. 
Her treasury was empty. Alcibiades was pressing on her 
destruction with all his revengeful genius. A Spartan gar- 
rison held Deceleia, in the heart of Attica. The Athenian 
allies dropped off. The Ionic colonies revolted. Yet with 
the energy of despair Athens dragged out the unequal con- 
test nine years longer. The recall of Alcibiades gave a 
gleam of success. But victory at the price of submission 
to such a master was too costly, and he was dismissed. 
Persian gold gave weight to the Lacedaemonian sword and 


equipped her fleet. The last ships of Athens were taken 
by Lysander, the Spartan, at jEgos Potamos (Goat's-river). 
Sparta had got control of the sea, and Athens, its harbor 
blockaded, suffered famine, in addition to the horrors of 
war. The imperial city surrendered at last (404 b. c). Her 
ships were given up ; and the Long Walls were torn down 
amid the playing of flutes and the rejoicings of dancers, 
crowned with garlands, as for a festival. " That day was 
deemed by the Peloponnesians," says Xenophon, "the com- 
mencement of liberty for Greece." 

Thus ended the Peloponnesian War twenty-seven years 
after its commencement, and seventy-six years after Salamis, 
which laid the foundation of the Athenian poAver. Athens 
had fallen, but she possessed a kingdom of which Sparta 
could not deprive her. She still remained the mistress of 
Greece in literature and art. 

The Thirty Tyrants. — A Spartan garrison was i^ow 
placed in the Acropolis at Athens, and an oligarchy of thirty 
persons established. A reign of terror followed. The 
" Thirty Tyrants " put hundreds of citizens to death without 
form of trial. After they had ruled only eight months the 
Athenian exiles returned in arms, overthrew the tyrants, and 
re-established a democratic government. 

Retreat of the Ten Thousand (401 b. c). — Now that 
peace had come at home, ten thousand restless Greeks* 
were away helping Cyrus the Younger, satrap of Asia Minor, 
to dethrone his elder brother, Artaxerxes. At Cunaxa, near 
Babylon, they routed the Persians. But Cyrus fell, and to 
complete their misfortune their chief officers were induced 
to visit the enemy's camp, where they were treacherously 
taken prisoners. Left thus in the heart of the Persian em- 

* Greece at this time was full of soldiers of fortune— men who made war a trade, 
and Berved anybody who was able to pay them. 

146 GREECE. [401 B.C. 

pire the little army chose new captains, and decided to cut 
its way home again. All were ignorant alike of the route 
and the language of the people. Hostile troops swarmed 
on every side. Traitors misled them. Famine threatened 
them. Snows overwhelmed them. • Yet they struggled on 
for months. When one day ascending a mountain, there 
broke from the van the joyful shout of " The Sea ! The 
Sea !" It was the Euxine, a branch of that sea whose 
waters washed the shores of their beloved Greece. 

About three-fourths of the original number survived to 
tell the story of that wonderful march. Such an exploit, 
while it honored the endtirance-of the Greek soldier, revealed 
the weakness of the Persian empire. 


Lacedaemon Rule (405-371 b. c). — Tempted by the 
glittering prospect of Eastern conquest Sparta sent Agesila'us 
into Asia. His success there made Artaxerxes tremble for 
his throne. Again Persian gold was thrown into the scale. 
The Athenians were helped to rebuild the Long Walls, and 
soon their flag floated once more on the ^gean. Conon, the 
Athenian admiral, defeated the Spartan fleet off Cnidus, 
near Khodes (394 b. c). In Greece the Spartan rule, cruel 
and coarse, had already become unendurable. In every 
town, Sparta sought to establish an oligarchy of ten citizens 
favorable to herself, and a harmost, or governor. Wherever 
popular liberty asserted itself, she endeavored to extinguish 
it by military force. But Corinth, Argos, Thebes, and 
Athens struck for freedom. Sparta was forced to recall 
Agesilaus. Strangely enough she now made friends with 
the Great King, who dictated the Peace of Ajitalcidas 


(387 B.C.),* which ended the war, and gave up Asia Minor 
to him. So low had Hellas fallen since the days of Salamis 
and Plataea ! 

Theban Rule (371-362 B.C.).— At the very height of 
Sparta's arrogance her humiliation came. The Bceotian 
League (p. 139) haying been restored, and the oligarchical 
governments favorable to Sparta overthrown, a Spartan 
army invaded that state. At this juncture there arose in 
Thebes a great general, Epaminondas, who made the Theban 
army the best in the land. On the famous field of Leuctra 
(371b. c), by throwing heavy columns against the long 
lines of Spartan soldiers, he beat them for the first time in 
their liistory.f The charm of Lacedaemonian invincibility 
was broken. The stream of Persian gold now turned into 
Thebes. The tyrannical Spartan harmosts were expelled 
from all the cities. To curb the power of Sparta the inde- 
pendence of Messenia, after three centuries of slavery, was 
re-established (p. 120). Arcadia was united in a League, 
having as its head Magalopolis, a new city now founded. A 
wise, pure-hearted statesman, Epaminondas sought to com- 
bine Hellas, and not, like Athens or Sparta, selfishly to rule 

* This peace was an incident of mournful import in Grecian history. Its true 
character cannot be better described than by a brief remarli and reply, cited in 
Plutarch : " Alas for Hellas," observed some one to Agesilaus, " when we see our 
Laconians Medizing ! " " Nay," replied the Spartan king, " say rather the Medes 
(Persians) Laconizing." 

t The Spartan lines were twelve files deep. Epaminondas (fighting en echelon) 
made his. <it the point where he wished to break through, fifty files deep. At his 
t^ide alway«? fought his intimate friend Peiopidas, who commanded the Sacred Band. 
This consisted of three hundred brothers-inarms, men who had known one another 
from childhood, and were sworn to live and die together. In the crisis of the struggle, 
Epaminondas cheered his men with the words. "One step forward." While the by- 
standers after the battle were congratulating him over his victory, he replied that 
his greatest pleasure was in thinking how it would gratify his father and mother. 
Soon after Epaminondas returned from the battle of Leuctra, his enemies secured 
his ek'C*:ion as public scavenger. The nobl3-spirited man immediately accepted the 
oflice, declaring that " the place did not confer dignity on the man, but the man on 
the place "; and executed the duties of this unworthy post so eflBciently as to bafl3e 
the malice of his foes. 

148 GREECE. [362B.C. 

it. Athens at first aided him, and then, jealous of his suc- 
cess, sided with Lacedaemon. At Mantinea (362 b. c), how- 
ever, Epaminondas fought his last battle, and died at the 
moment of victory * He alone made Thebes great, and she 
dropped back at once to her former level. 

Three states in succession— Athens, Sparta, and Thebes — 
had risen to take the lead in Greece. Each had failed. 
Hellas now lay a mass of quarreling, struggling states, 
waiting the strong hand of a conqueror to mold them in 
his grasp. 


Rise of Macedonia. — The Macedonians were allied to 
the Greeks, and their kings took part in the Olympian 
games. They were, however, a vei;y different people. In- 
stead of living in a multitude of free cities, as in Greece, 
they dwelt in the country, and were all governed by one 
king. The polite and refined Athenian looked upon the 
coarse Macedonian as almost a barbarian. But about the 
time of the fall of Athens these rude northerners were fast 
taking on the Greek civiHzation. 

Philip (359-336 b. c.).— When Philip came to the throne 
of Macedonia he determined to be recognized, not only as a 
Greek among Greeks, but as the head of all Greece. To 
this he bent every energy of his strong, crafty, and cruel 
mind. He enlarged the boundaries of his kingdom, and 
consolidated it into a compact empire. He thoroughly 
organized his army, and formed the famous Macedonian 

* He was pierced with a javelin, and to extract the weapon would cause his death 
by bleeding. Being carried out of the battle, like a true soldier he asked first about 
his shield, then waited to learn the issue of the contest. Hearing the cries of vic- 
toJTT, he drew out the shaft with his own hand, and died a few moments after. 

359 B. c] 




phalanx * that, for two centuries after, decided the day on 
every field on which it appeared. He craftily mixed in 
Grecian aflfairs, and took such an active part in the Sacred 
War t (355-346 B. c.) that he was 
admitted to the Amphictyonic 
Council (p. 115). Demosthenes, 
the great Athenian orator, seemed 
the only man clear-headed enougli 
to detect Philip's scheme. 11 i 
eloquent Philippics (p. 202) at last 
aroused his apathetic countryuien 
to a sense of their danger. The 
Second Sacred War, declared by the 
Amphictyons against the Locrians 
for alleged sacrilege, having been 
intrusted to Philip, that monarch 
marched through Thermopylae, and 
his designs against the liberties of Greece became but too 
evident. Thebes and Athens now took the field. But at 
ClicBronea (338 b. c.) the Macedonian phalanx annihilated 
their armies, the Sacred Band perishing to a man. 
"Greece was prostrate at Philip's feet. In a congress of 

* The peculiar feature of this body was that the men were armed with huge 
lances, twenty-one feet long. The lines were placed so that the front rank, composed 
of the strongest and most experienced soldiers, was protected by a bristling mass of 
five rows of lance-points, their own extending fifteen feet before them, and the rest 
twelve, nine, six, and three feet respectively. Formed in a solid mass, usually six- 
teen files deep, shield touching shield, and marching with the precision of a machine, 
the phalanx charge was irresistible. The Spartans carrying spears only about half 
as long could not reach the Macedonians. 

t The pretext for the First Sacred War is said to have been that the Phocians 
had cultivated lands consecrated to Apollo. The Amphictyonic Council, led by 
Thebes, inflicted a heavy fine upon them. Thereupon they seized the Temple at 
Delphi, and finally, to furnish means for prolonging the struggle, sold the riches 
accumulated from the pious offerings of the men of a better day. The Grecians 
were first shocked and then demoralized by this impious act. The holiest objects 
circulated among the people and were put to common uses. All reverence for the 
gods and sacred things was lost. The ancient patriotism went with the religion, 
and Hellas had forever fiillen from her high estate. Everywhere her sons were ready 
to sell their swords to the highest bidder. 

150 GREECE. [337-6 B.C. 

all the states except Sparta, he was appointed to lead their 
united forces against Persia. But while preparing to start 
he was assassinated at his daughter's marwage feast. 


Alexander,* Philip's son, succeeded to his throne and 
ambitious projects. Though only twenty years old he was 

* On the day of Alexander's birth, Philip received news of the defeat of the 
lUyrians, and that his horses had won in the Olympian chariot-races. Overwhelmed 
by such fortune the monarch exclaimed, " Great Jupiter, send me only some slight 
reverse in return for so many blessings ! " That same day also the famous Temple 
of Diana, at Ephesus, was burned by an incendiary. Alexander was wont to consider 
this an omen that he should himself kindle a flame in Asia. On his father's side he was 
said to be descended from Hercules, and on hie mother's from Achilles. He became 
a pupil of Aristotle (p. 176), to whom Philip wrote announcing Alexander's birth, 
saying that he knew not which gave him the greater pleasure, that he had a son or 
that Aristotle could be his son's teacher. The young prince at fourteen tamed the 
noble horse Bucephalus, which no one at the Macedonian court dared to mount; at 
sixteen, he saved his father in battle ; and at eighteen, defeated the Sacred Band 
upon the field at Chseronea. Before setting out upon his Persian expedition he con- 
sulted the oracle at Delphi. The priestess refused to go to the shrine, as it was an 
unlucky day. Alexander thereupon grasped her arm. "Ah, my son," exclaimed 
she, "thou art irresistible!" "Enough," shouted the delighted monarch, "I ask 
no other reply." He was equally happy of thought at Gordium. Here he was shown 
the famous Gordian knot, which, it was said, no one could untie except the one des- 
tined to be the conqueror of Asia. He tried to unravel the cord, but failing, drew 
his sword and severed it at a blow. Alexander always retained a warm love for his 
mother, Olympias. She, however, was a violent woman. Antip'ater, who was left 
governor of Macedon during Alexander's absence, wrote complaining of her conduct. 
" Ah," said the king, " Antipater does not know that one tear of a mother will blot 
out ten thousand of his letters." Unfortunately, the hero who subdued the known 
world had never conquered himself. In a moment of drunken passion he slew Clitus, 
his dearest friend, who had saved his life in battle. He shut himself up for days 
after this horrible deed, lamenting his crime, and refusing to eat or to transact any 
business. Yet in soberness and calmness he tortured and hanged Callisthenes, a 
Greek author, because he would not worship him as a god. Carried away by his 
success, he finally sent to Greece ordering h;s name to be enrolled among the deities. 
Said the Spartans in reply, " If Alexander will be a god, let him." 


more than his fathei-'s equal in statesmanship and military 
skill. Thebes having revolted, he leveled the city to the 
ground, and sold its inhabitants as slaves, sparing only the 
house of Pindar the poet. This terrible example quieted 
all opposition. He was at once made captain-general of the 
Grecian forces to invade Persia, and soon after he set out 
upon that perilous expedition from which he never returned. 
Alexander's Marches and Conquests. — In 334 b. c. 
Alexander crossed the Hellespont with thirty thousand in- 
fantry and four thousand five hundred cavalry. He was the 
first to leap on the Asiatic shore.* Pressing eastward, he 
defeated the Persians in two great battles, one at the river 
Granicus, and the other at Issus. f Then he turned south 
and besieged Tyre. To reach the island on which the city 
stood, he built a stone pier two hundred feet wide and half 
a mile long, on which he rolled his ponderous machines, 
breached the wall, and carried the place by a desperate 
assault. Thence passing into Egypt, that country fell with- 
out a blow. Here he founded the famous city of Alexandria. 
Next he resumed his eastern march, and routed the Persian 
host, a million strong, on the field of Arhela. The Greeks 
entered Babylon in triumph. Persepolis was burned to 
avenge the destruction of Athens one hundred and fifty 
years before (p. 132). Darius was pursued so closely that, 
to prevent his falling into the conqueror's possession, he was 
slain by a noble. 

* Alexander was a great lover of Homer and always slept with a copy of the Iliad 
under his pillow. While his army was now landing he visited the site of Troy, ofEered 
a sacrifice at the tomb of Achilles, hung up his own shield in the temple, and taking 
down one said to have belonged to a hero of the Trojan War, ordered it to be 
henceforth carried before him in battle. 

t Just before this engagement Alexander was attacked by a fever in consequence 
of bathing in the cold water of the Cydnus. Wliile sick he was informed that his 
physician Philip had been bribed by Darius to poison him. As Philip came into the 
room Alexander handed him the letter containing the warning, and then, before the 
doctor could speak, swallowed the medicine. His confidence was rewarded by a 
speedy recovery. 

152 GREECE. [326 b. c. 

The mysterious East still alluring him on, Alexander 
exploring, conquering,* founding cities, at last reached the 
river Hyph'asis, where his army refused to proceed further 
in the unknown regions. Instead of going directly back, 
he built vessels, and descended the Indus ; thence the fleet 
cruised along the coast, while the troops returned through 
Gedrosia (Beloochistan) suffering fearful hardships in its 
inhospitable deserts.f When he reached Babylon, ten years 
had elapsed since he crossed the Hellespont. 

The next season, while just setting out from Babylon 
upon a new expedition into Arabia, he died (323 B.C.). 
With him perished his schemes and his empire. 

Alexander's plan was to mold the diverse nations 
which he had conquered into one vast empire, with the 
capital at Babylon. Having been the Cyrus, he desired to 
be the Darius of the Persians. He sought to break down 
the distinctions between the Greek and the Persian. He 
married the Princess Roxana, the ^' Pearl of the East," 
and induced many of his army to take Persian wives. He 
enlisted twenty thousand Persians into the Macedonian 
phalanx, and appointed natives to high oflBce. He wore the 
Eastern dress, and adopted in his court Oriental ceremonies. 
He respected the religion and the government of the various 
countries, restrained the satraps, and ruled more beneficently 
than their own monarch s. 

The Results of the thirteen years of Alexander's reign 
have not yet disappeared. Great cities were founded by 

* Porus, an Indian prince, held the banks of the Hydaspes with three hundred 
war-chariots and two hundred elephants. The Indians being defeated, Porus was 
brought into Alexander's presence. When asked what he wished. Poms replied, 
" Nothing except to Ue treated like a king." Alexander, struck by the answer, gave 
him his liberty and enlarged his territoi-y. 

t One day while Alexander was parched with thirst a drink of water was given 
him, but he threw it on the ground lest the sight of his pleasure should aggravate the 
suffering of his men. 



him, or his generals, that are still marts of trade. Com- 
merce received new life. Greek culture and civilization 
spread over the Orient, and the Greek language became, if 
not the common speech, at least the medium of communi- 
cation among educated people from the Adriatic to the 
Indus. So it came about that when Greece had lost her 
national liberty she suddenly attained, through her con- 
querors, a world-wide empire over the minds of men. 

But while Asia became thus Hellenized, the East exerted 
a reflex influence upon Hellas. As Kawlinson well remarks: 

" The Oriental habits of servility and adulation superseded the old free-spoken 
independence and manliness ; patriotism and public spirit disappeared ; luxury 
increased ; literature lost its vigor ; art deteriorated ; and the people sank into a 
nation of pedants, parasites, and adventurers." 


Alexander's principal generals, soon after his death, 
divided his empire among themselves. A mortal struggle 
of twenty-two years followed, during which these officers, 
released from the strong hand of their master, ^'^ fought, 
quarreled, grasped, and wrangled like loosened tigers in an 
amphitheatre." The greed and jealousy of the generals, or 
kings as they were called, were equaled only by the treachery 
of their men. Finally, by the decisive battle of Ipsns, 
(301 B. c), the conflict was ended, and the following distri- 
bution of the territory made : 

received Egypt, and 
conquered all of Pal- 
estine, Phoenicia, 
and Cyprus. 

received Thrace and 
nearly all of Asia 

received Syria and 
the East, and he af- 
terward conquered 
Asia Minor, Lysim- 
achus being slain. 

received Macedon 
and Greece. 

Ptolemy founded a flourishing Greek kingdom in Egypt. 
The Greeks, attracted by his benign rule, flocked thither in 

154 GREECE. [323 B.C. 

multitudes. The Egyptians were protected in their ancient 
religion, laws, and customs, so that the stiff-necked rebels 
against the Persian rule quietly submitted to the Macedonian. 
The Jews * in large numbers found safety under his paternal 
government. This threefold population gave to the second 
civilization which grew up on the banks of the Nile a pecu- 
liar and cosmopolitan character. The statues of the Greek 
gods were mingled with those of Osiris and Isis ; the same 
hieroglyphic word was used to express a Greek and a lower 
Egyptian; and even the Jews forgot the language of 
Palestine, and talked Greek. Alexandria became under the 
Ptolemies, what Memphis was under the Rameses — a center 
of commerce and civilization. The building of a commo- 
dious harbor and a superb light-house, and the opening of 
a canal to the Red Sea, gave a great impetus to the trade 
with Arabia and India. Grecian architects made Alexandria, 
with its temples, obelisks, palaces, and theatres, the most 
beautiful city of the times. Its white marble Pharos was 
one of the Seven Wonders of the World. At the center of 
the city, where its two grand avenues crossed each other, in 
the midst of gardens and fountains, stood the Mausoleum, 
which contained the body of Alexander, embalmed in the 
Egyptian manner. 

The Alexandrian Museum and Library founded by 
Ptolemy I. (Sotor), but greatly extended by Ptolemy II. 
(Philadelphus), and enriched by Ptolemy III. (Euergetes), 
were the grandest monuments of this Greco-Egyptian 
kingdom. The Library comprised at one time, in all its 
collections, seven hundred thousand volumes. The Museum 
was a stately marble edifice surrounded by a portico, beneath 
which the philosophers walked and conversed. The pro- 

* They had a temple at Alexandria, similar to the one at Jerusalem, and for their 
use the Old Testament was translated into Greek (275-250 b. c). From the number 
of scholars engaged in this work it is termed the Septuagint version, 


fessors and teachers were all kept at the public expense. 
There were connected with this institution a botanical and 
a zoological garden, an astronomical observatory, and a 
chemical laboratory. To this grand University resorted the 
scholars of the world. (See Steele's Astronomy, p. 19.) At 
one time in its history, there were in attendance as many as 
fourteen thousand persons. While wars shook Europe and 
Asia, Archimedes and Hero the philosophers, Apelles the 
painter, Hipparchus and Ptolemy the astronomers, Euclid 
the geometer, Eratosthenes and Strabo the geographers, 
Manetho the historian, Aristophanes the rhetorician, and 
Apollonius the poet, labored in quiet upon the peaceful 
banks of the Nile. Probably no other school of learning 
has ever exerted so wide an influence. When Caesar wished 
to revise the calendar, he sent for Sosigenes the Alexandrian. 
Even the early Christian church drew, from what the ancients 
loved to call ^^the divine school at Alexandria," some of its 
most eminent Fathers, as Origen and Athanasius. Modern 
science itself dates its rise from the study of Nature that 
began under the shadow of the Pyramids. 

Last of the Ptolemies. — The first three Ptolemies were 
judicious monarchs. Then came ten weak-minded and 
often corrupt successors. The last Ptolemy married his 
sister, the famous Cleopatra (p. 254), and shared with her 
the throne. At her death Egypt became a province of 
Kome (30 B.C.). 

Seleucus was a conqueror, and his kingdom at one time 
stretched from the ^gean to India, comprising nearly all 
the former Persian empire. He was a famous founder of 
cities, nine of which were named for himself, and sixteen 
for his son Antiochus. One of the latter, Antioch in Sjrria 
{Acts xi. 26, etc.), became the capital instead of Babylon. 
The descendants of Seleucus (Seleucidas) were unable to 

156 GREECE. [65 B.C. 

retain his yast conquests, and one province after another 
dropped away until the wide empire finally shrank into 
Syria, which was grasped by the Romans (65 b. c). 

Several independent States arose in Asia during this 
eventful period. Pergamus became an independent king- 
dom on the death of Seleucus I. (280 b. c), and, mainly 
through the favor of Eome, absorbed Lydia, Phrygia, and 
other provinces. The city of Pergamus, with its school of 
literature and magnificent public buildings, rivaled the 
glories of Alexandria. The rapid growth of its library so 
aroused the jealousy of Ptolemy that he forbade the export 
of papyrus ; whereupon Eumenes, king of Pergamus, resorted 
to parchment, which he used so extensively for writing that 
this material took the name of pergamena. By the will 
of the last king of Pergamus, the kingdom fell to Rome 
(p. 237). Partliia arose about 255 B. c. It gradually spread 
until at one time it reached from the Indus to the Euphrates. 
Never absorbed into the Roman dominion, it remained 
through the palmy days of that empire its dreaded foe. 
The twenty-ninth of the Arsacidae, as its kings were called, 
was driven from the throne by Artaxerxes, a descendant of 
the ancient line of Persia, and, after an existence of about 
five centuries, the Parthian empire came to an end. It was 
succeeded by the new Persian monarchy or kingdom of the 
Sassanidse (226-652 a. d.). Pontus, a rich kingdom of Asia 
Minor, became famous through the long wars its great king 
Mithridates V. carried on with Rome (p. 243). 

Greece and Macedonia, after Alexander's time, pre- 
sented little historic interest.* The chief feature was that 
nearly all the G-recian states, except Sparta, in order to make 

* In 279 B. c. there was a fearful irruption of the Gauls under Brennus. (See 
Brief History of France ^\>. 10.) Greece was ravaged by the barbarians. They were 
finally expelled, and a remnant founded a province in Asia Minor named Gallatia, to 
whose people in later times St. Paul directed one of his Epistles. 


head against Macedonia, formed leagues similar to that of 
our government during the Revolution. The principal ones 
were the Achceau and the ^tolian. But the old feuds and 
petty strifes continued until all were swallowed up in the 
world-wide dominion of Rome (p. 236). 

Athens under the Romans was prosperous. Other 
centers of learning arose— Alexandria, Marseilles, Tarsus ; 
but still scholars from all parts of the extended empire of 
Rome flocked to Athens to complete their education. True, 
war had laid waste the groves of Plato and the garden in 
which Epicurus lived, yet the charm of old associations 
continued to linger around these sacred places, and the 
Four Schools of Philosophy (p. 175) maintained their hold 
on public thought.* The Emperor Hadrian established 
a library, and built a pantheon and a gymnasium. The 
Antonines began a system of state endowments. So late as 
the close of the 4th century a writer describes the airs put 
on by those who thought themselves ^^ demigods, so proud 
are they of having looked on the Academy and Lyceum, 
and the Porch where Zeno reasoned." With the fall of 
Paganism, however, and the growth of legal studies — so pecu- 
liar to the Roman character — Athens lost her importance, 
and her schools were closed by Justinian (529 A. d.). 

* It is strange to hear Cicero, in De Mnibus, speak of these scenes as already in 
his time classic ground : " After hearing Antiochus in the Ptolemaeum, in the com- 
pany of Piso and my brother, and Pomponius and my cousin Lucius, for whom I had 
a brother's love, we agreed to take our evening walk in the Academy. So we all met 
at Piso's house, and, chatting as we went, walked the six stadia between the Gate 
Dipyliim and the Academy. When we reached the scenes so justly famous we 
found the quietude we craved. 'Is it a natural sentiment,' asked Piso, ' or a mere 
illusion, which makes us more afEected when we see the spots frequented by men 
worth remembering than when we merely hear their deeds or read their works ? It 
is thus that I feel touched at present, for I think of Plato, who, as we are told, was 
wont to lecture here. Not only do those gardens of his, close by, remind me of him, 
but I seem to fancy him before my eyes. Here stood Speusippus, here Xenocrates, 

here his hearer Polemon ' 'Yes,' said Quintus, 'what you say, Piso, is quite 

true, for as I was coming hither, Colonus, yonder, called my thoughts away, and made 
me fancy that I saw its inmate Sophocles, for whom you know my passionate admi- 
ration.' 'And I, too,' said Pomponius, 'whom you often attack for my devotion to 
Epicurus, spend much time in his garden, which we passed lately in our walk.' " 




" Athens is the echool of Greece, and the Athenian is best fitted, by diversity of 
gifts, for the graceful performance of all life's duties."— Fericks. 

Athens and Sparta.— Though the Greeks comprised many 
distinct tribes, inhabiting separate cities, countries, and islands, 
having different laws, dialects, manners, and customs, Athens and 
Sparta were the great centers of Hellenic life. These two cities 
differed widely from each other in thought, habits, and tastes. 
Sparta had no part in Grecian art or literature. " There w^as no 
Spartan sculptor, no Laconian painter, no Lacedaemonian poet." 
From Athens, on the contrary, came the world's master-pieces in 
poetry, oratory, sculpture, and architecture. 


Society. — The Atheniajsts boasted that they were Autochthons,* 
i. e., sprung from the soil where they lived; and that their descent 
was direct from the sons gf the gods. The ancient Attic tribes were 
divided into phratries or fraternities; the phratries into gentes or 
clans ; and the gentes into hearths or families. The four tribes were 
bound together by the common worship of Apollo Patrons, reputed 
father of their mutual ancestor. Ion. Each phratry had its partic- 
ular sacred rites and civil compact, but all the phratries of the same 
tribe joined periodically in certain ceremonies. Each gens had also 
its own ancestral hero or god, its exclusive privilege of priesthood, 

* In recognition of this belief they wore in their hair, as an ornament, a golden 


its compact of protection and defence, and its special burial-place. 
Last of all, every family had its private worship, and commemorated 
its own ancestors, allowing no stranger to intrude. This association 
of houses and brotherhoods was a powerful factor in the early social 
and political life of Greece. 

Athens in her golden days had, as we have already seen, neither 
king nor aristocracy. Every free citizen possessed a voice in 
the general government, and zealously maintained his rights and 
liberty as a member of the state. Although to belong to an old and 
noble house gave a certain position among all true-born Athenians, 
there was little of the usual exclusiveness attending great wealth or 
long pedigree. An Athenian might be forced from poverty to wear 
an old and tattered cloak, or be only the son of a humble image- 
maker, as was Socrates, or of a cutler, as was Demosthenes, yet, if 
he had wit, bravery, and talent, he was as welcome to the brilliant 
private saloons of Athens as were the richest and noblest of citizens. 

Trade and Merchandise were as unpopular in most parts of 
Greece as in Persia. There was a settled idea in the Greek mind 
that only arms, agriculture, music, and gymnastics were occupations 
worthy of a freeman. To profit by retail trade was looked upon as 
a sort of cheating, and handicrafts were despised because they com- 
pelled men to stay at home to work, and gave no leisure for athletic 
exercises or social culture. In Sparta, where even agriculture was 
despised and all property was held in common, an artisan had neither 
public influence nor political rights ; while in Thebes, no one who 
had sold in the market within ten years was allowed part in the 
government. Even in democratic Athens, where extensive interests 
in ship-building and navigation produced a strong sentiment in favor 
of commerce, the poor man who lived on less than ten cents a day, 
earned by serving on juries* or in other public capacities, looked 
with disdain on the practical mechanic and tradesman. Conse- 
quently, most of the Athenian stores and shops belonged to aliens, 

♦ There were ten courts in Athens, employing, when all were open, six thousand 
jurymen. The Athenians had such a passion for hearing and deciding judicial and 
political questions that they clamored for seats in the jury-box. Greek literature 
abounds with satires on this national peculiarity. In one of Lucian's dialogues, 
Menippus is represented as looking down from the moon and watching the character- 
istic pursuits of men. " The northern hordes were fighting, the Egyptians were 
plowing, the Phoenicians were carrying their merchandise over the sea, the Spartans 
were whipping their children, and the Athenians were sitting in the jury-box.'''' So 
also Aristophanes, in his satire called The Clouds., has his hero (Strepsiades) visit the 
School of Socrates, where he is shown a map of the world. 

Student.—" And here lies Athens." 

Strep.—" Athens 1 nay, go to That cannot be. I see no law-courts sitting ! " 



who paid heavy taxes and made large profits. Solon sought to 
encourage the manufacturing industries and himself engaged in 
commerce, for which he traveled; Aristotle kept a druggist's shop 
in Athens ; and even Plato, who shared the national prejudice against 
artisans, speculated in oil during his Egyptian journey. 

Sparta with her two kings, powerful ephors, and landed aris- 
tocracy, presents a marked contrast to Athens. 

The two Kings were supposed to have descended by different 
lines from the gods, and this belief preserved to them what little 
authority they retained under the supremacy of the ephors. They 
offered the monthly sacrifices to the gods, consulted the Delphian 
oracle — which always upheld their dignity — and had nominal com- 
mand of the army. On the other hand, war and its details were 
decided by the ephors, two of whom accompanied one king on the 
march. The kings were obliged monthly to bind themselves by an 
oath not to exceed the laws, the ephors also swearing on that con- 
dition to uphold the royal authority. In case of default the kings 
were tried and severely fined, or had their houses burned. 

The population of Laconia, as we have seen, comprised Spartans, 
perioeki, and helots (p. 119). 

The Spartans lived in the city, and were 
the only persons eligible to public office. So 
long as they submitted to the prescribed 
discipline and paid their quota to the public 
mess, they were Equals. Those who were 
unable to pay their assessment, lost their 
franchise, and were called Inferiors; but by 
meeting their public obligation they could 
at any time regain their privileges. 

The Periceki were also freemen. They in* 
habited the hundred townships of Laconia, 
having more or less liberty of local manage- 
ment, but subject always to orders from 
Sparta, the ephors having power to inflict 
the death penalty upon them without form 
of trial. 

The Helot was a serf bound to the soil, and 
belonged not so much to the master as to the 
state. He was the pariah of the land. If he 
dared to wear a Spartan bonnet, or even to sing a Spartan song, he 
was put to death. The old Egyptian kings thinned the ranks of 
their surplus rabble by that merciless system of forced labor which 



produced tlie pyramids ; the Spartans did not put the blood of their 
helots to such useful account, but when they became too powerful 
used simply the knife and the dagger.* The helot served in war as 
a light-armed soldier, attached to a Spartan or perioekian hoplite.f 
Sometimes he was clothed in heavy armor, and was given freedom 
for superior bravery. A freed helot, however, was by no means 
equal to a pericekus, and his known courage made him more than 
ever a man to be watched. 

Literature. — In considering Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, 
and Persian literature we have had only fragments, possessing little 
value for the present age except as historical curiosities, or as a means 
of insight into the life and attainments of the people. Grecian 
literature, on the contrary, exists to-day as a model. From it poets 
continue to draw their highest inspiration ; its first great historian is 
still known as the '' Father of History "; its philosophy seems to 
touch every phase of thought and argument of which the human 
mind is capable ; and its oratory has never been surpassed. So vast 
a subject should be studied by itself, and in this book we can merely 
furnish a nucleus about which the pupil may gather in his future 
reading the rich stores which await his industry. For convenience 
we shall classify it under the several heads of Poetry, History, Ora- 
tory, and Philosophy. 

Poetry. — Epics (Narrative poems). — The earliest Grecian litera- 
ture of which we have any knowledge is in verse. In the dawn of 
Hellas, hymns of praise to the gods were performed in choral dances 
about shrines and altars, and heroic legends woven into ballads were 
musically chanted to the sound of a four-stringed lyre. With this 
rhythmical story-telling, the Rhapsodists {ode-stitchers) used to de- 
light the listening multitudes on festive occasions in princely halls, 

* The helots were once free Greeks like their. masters, whom they hated so bitterly 
that there was a sayin:^, " A helot could eat a Spartan raw." They wore a sheepskin 
garment and dogskin cap as the contemptuous badge of their slavery. There was 
constant danger of revolt, and from time to time the bravest of them were secretly 
killed by a band of d-" tectives appointed by the government for that purpose. Some- 
times a wholesale ujsassination was deemed necessary. During the Peloponnesian 
War the helots had shown so much gallantry in battle that the Spartan authorities 
were alarmed. A notice was issued that two thousand of the bravest— selected by 
their fellows— should be made free. There was great rejoicing among the delnded 
slaves, and the happy candidates, garlanded with flowers, were marched proudly 
through the streets and around the temples of the gods. Then they mysteriously 
disappeared and were never heard of more. At the same time seven hundred other 
helots were sent off to join the army, and the Spartans congratulated themselves on 
having done a wise and prudent deed. 

t A hoplite was a heavy-armed infantryman. At Plataea every Spartan had seven 
helots, and every perioekus one helot to attend him. 


G R E E C Jc/ . 

at Amphictyonic gatherings, and at religious assemblies. Among 

this troup of wandering minstrels there arose 

Homer* (about 1000 B.C.), 
an Asiatic Greek, whose name 
has become immortal. The 
Iliad and the Odyssey are the 
grandest epics ever written. 
The first contains the story 
of the siege of Troy (p. 115); 
the second narrates the wan- 
derings of Ulysses, king of 
Ithaca, on his return from the 
Trojan Conquest. Homer's 
style is simple, artistic, clear, 
and vivid. It abounds in 
sublime description, delicate 
pathos, pure domestic senti- 
ment, and noble conceptions 

of character. His verse strangely stirred the Grecian heart. The 

rhapsodist Ion describes the emotion it produced : 

" When that which I recite is pathetic, my eyes fill with tears ; when it is awful 
or terrible, my hair stands on end and my heart leaps. The spectators also weep in 
sympathy, and look aghast with terror." 

Antiquity paid divine honors to Homer's name; the cities of 
Greece owned -state copies of his works, which not even the treasures 
of kings could buy; and his poems were then, as now, the stand- 
ard classics in a literary education (p. 179). 

* According to tradition Homer was a schoolmaster who, wearying of confine- 
ment, began to travel. 'Having become blind in the course of his wanderings he 
returned to his native town, where he composed his two great poems. Afterward 
he roamed from town to town, singing his lays, and adding to them as his inspiration 
came. Somewhere on the coast of the Levant he died and was buried. His birth- 
place is unknown, and, according to an old Greek epigram, 
" Seven rival towns contend for Homer dead, 
Through which the living Homer begged his bread." 
There are various other versions of his life and history, some mal 'ng the Iliad the pro- 
duction of his early manhood, and the Odyssey of his old age, A_a.ny learned writers 
have doubted whether a real Homer ever existed. The name is said to mean " com- 
piler," and the two great poems ascribed to him are regarded as a simple collection 
of heroic legends, recited by different bards at different times, and finally woven into 
a continuous tale. Some critics also assert that the story of the Siege of Troy is 
entirely allegorical, being only a repetition of the old Egyptian fancies, " founded on 
the daily siege of the east by the solar powers that every evening are robbed of their 
brightest treasures in the west." Dr. Schliemann, a German explorer, who claims to 
have unearthed the Homeric Ilium, and to have even found among its ruins the onia- 
ments which once belonged to Priam, believes that his recent remarkable discoveries 
effectually refute all skepticism in regard to the historic reality of the Siege of Troy. 


Besiod, who IWed about the time of Homer, wrote two long 
poems, Works and Bays* and Theogony. In the former he details 
his agricultural experiences, enriching them with fable, allegory, and 
moral reflections ; the latter gives an account of the origin and his- 
tory of the thirty thousand Grecian gods, and the creation of the 
world. He also prepared a calendar of lucky and unlucky days for 
the use of farmers and sailors. The Spartans, who detested agricul- 
ture, called Hesiod the " poet of the helots," in contrast with Homer, 
"the delight of warriors." In Athens, however, his genius was 
recognized, and his poems took their place with Homer's in the 
school education of the day. 

After Homer and Hesiod the poetic fire in Greece slumbered for 
over two hundred years. Then arose many lyric, elegiac, and epi- 
grammatic poets, whose works exist only in fragments. 

TyrtcEus^ "the lame old schoolmaster," invented the trumpet, and 
gained the triumph for Sparta t in the Second Messenian War by his 
impassioned battle-songs. 

ArcMVochus I was a satirical poet of great reputation among the 
ancients, his birthday being celebrated in one grand festival with 
that of Homer, and a single double-faced statue perpetuating their 
memory. He invented many rhythmical forms, and wrote with force 
and elegance. His satire was so caustic that he is said to have driven 
a whole family to suicide by his venomous pen, used in revenge for 

* The Works and Days was an earnest appeal to Hesiod's dissipated brother, 
whom he styles the " simple, foolish, good-for-naught Perses." It abounds with 
arguments for honest industry, gives numerous suggestions on the general conduct 
of society, and occasionally dilates on the vanity, frivolity, and gossip which the 
author imputes to womankind. 

t The story is that, in obedience to an oracle, the Spartans sent to Athens for a 
general who should ensure them success. The jealous Athenians ironically answered 
their demand with the deformed Tyrtaeus. Contrary to their design, the cripple-poet 
proved to be just what was needed, and his wise advice and stirring war-hymns 
spurred the Spartans on to victory. 

X One of the greatest of soldier poets, Archilochus proved himself a coward on 
the battle-field, afterward proclaiming the fact in a kind of apologetic bravado, 

The foeman glories o'er my shield, 

I left it on the battle-field. 

I threw it down beside the wood, 

Unscathed by scars, unstained with blood. 

And let him glory ; since from death 

Escaped, I keep my forfeit breath. 

I soon may find at little cost 

As good a shield as that I lost." 

When he afterward visited Sparta, the authorities, taking a different view of shield- 
droppiug, ordered him to leave the city in an hour. 

164 GREECE. 

his rejection by one of the daughters. He likened himself to a por- 
cupine bristling with quills, and declared, 

" One great thing I know, 
The man who wrongs me to requite with woe." 

Sappho^ " the Lesbian nightingale," who sang of love, was placed 
by Aristotle in the same rank with Homer and Archilochus. Plato 
called her the tenth muse, and it is asserted that Solon on hearing 
one of her poems prayed the gods that he might not die till he had 
found time to learn it by heart. Sappho's style was intense, bril- 
liant, and full of beautiful imagery ; her language was said to have 
a "marvellous suavity." She sought to elevate her countrywomen, 
and drew around her a circle of gifted poetesses whose fame spread 
with hers throughout Greece. 

AlccBus, an unsuccessful lover of Sappho, was a polished, passionate 
lyrist. His political and war poems gained him high repute, l)ut, 
like Archilochus, he dropped his shield in battle and ran from danger. 
His convivial songs were favorites with the classic topers. One of 
his best poems is the familiar one, beginning, 

" What constitutes a state ? 
Not high-raised battlement or labored mound, 
Thick wall or moated gate." 

Anacreon was a "society poet." Himself pleasure-loving and 
dissipated, his odes were devoted to " the muse, good humor, love, 
and wine." He lived to be eighty-five years old, and his memory was 
perpetuated on the Acropolis at Athens by a statue of a drunken 
old man. 

Simonides was remarkable for his terse epigrams and choral 
hymns. He was the author of the famous inscription upon the 
pillar at Thermopylae (p. 132), of which Christopher North says; 

" 'Tis but two lines, and all Greece for centuries had them by heart. She forgot 
them, and Greece was living Greece no more." 

Pindar^ the " Theban eagle," came from a long ancestry of poets 
and musicians. His fame began when he was twenty years old, and 
for sixty years he was the glory and delight of his countrymen. 
As Homer was the jioet^ and SajDpho the poetess^ so Pindar was the 
lyrist of Greece. Of all his compositions there remain entire only 
forty-five Triumphal Odes celebrating victories gained at the national 
games. His bpid and majestic style abounds in striking metaphors, 
abrupt transitions, and complicated rhythms. (See p. 151.) 

The Drama. — Rise of Tragedy and Comedy.— In early times the 
wine-god Dionysos (Bacchus) was worshipped with hymns and 

THE CiriLIZATlOK. 165 

dances around an open altar, a goat being the usual sacrifice.* 
During the Bacchic festivities, bands of revellers went about with 
their faces smeared with wine lees, shouting coarse and bantering 
songs to amuse the village-folk. Out of these rites and revels grew 
tragedy (goat-song) and comedy (village-song). The themes of the 
Tragic Chorus were the crimes, woes, and vengeance of the " fate- 
driven " heroes and gods, the murderous deeds being commonly 
enacted behind a curtain, or narrated by messengers. The great 
Greek poets esteemed fame above everything else, and to write for 
money was considered a degradation of genius. The prizes for 
which they so eagerly contended were simple crowns of wild olives. 

^schylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, the great tragic trio of 
antiquity, belong to the golden Age of Pericles. The first ex- 
celled in the sublime, the second in the beautiful, and the third in 
the pathetic.t 

j^schylus (525-456 b. c.) belonged to a noble family in Eleusis, a 
village near Athens, celebrated for its secret rites of Demeter (p. 184). 
Here, under the shadow of the sacred mysteries, a proud, earnest 
boy, he drank in from childhood a love of the awful and sublime. 
A true soldier-poet, he did not, like Archilochus and Alcaeus, vent 
all his courage in words, but won a prize for his bravery at Marathon, 
and shared in the glory of Salamis. In his old age he was publicly 
accused of sacrilege for having disclosed on the stage some details 

* Grecian mythology represented Bacchus as a merry, rollicking god, whose 
attendants were fauns and satyrs— beings half goat and half man. The early Tragic 
Chorns dressed in goat-skins. Thespis^ a strolling player, introduced an actor or 
story-teller between the hymns of his satyr-chcrus to All up the pauses with a nar- 
rative, ^schylus added a second, and Sophocles a third actor ; more than that never 
appeared together on the Athenian stage. Women wore not allowed to act. A poet 
contesting for the prize generally offered three plays to be produced the same day in 
succession on the stage. This was called a trilogy ; a farce or satyr-drama often 
followed, closing the series. 

t " Oh, our ^schylns, the thunderous 1 
How he drove the bolted breath 
Through the cloud, to wedge it ponderous 
In the gnarled oak beneath. 

" Oh, our Sophocles, the royal, 

Who was born to monarch's place, 

And who made the whole world loyal 

Less by kingly power than grace. 

" Oiir Euripides, the human, 

With his droppings of warm tears, 
And his touches of things common 
Till they rose to touch the spheres." 

—Mrs. Browning in " Wine of Cyprus.'''' 



of the Eleusinian mysteries. Becoming piqued at the rising success 
of Sophocles, who bore a prize away from him, he retired to Syra- 
cuse, where, at the court of Hiero, with Pindar, Simonides, and 
other literary friends, he passed his last years, ^schylus wrote 
over seventy tragedies, of which only seven are preserved. 


Prometheus Bound furnishes a typical illustration of this poet's style. According 
to the myth, Prometheus (whose name means forethought) had incurred the hatred 
of his fellow-gods by stealthily bringing some sparks of fire from heaven to give to 
mankind, whom he specially loved. For this crime Zeus (Jupiter) commanded him 
to be bound upon Mount Caucasus, where for thirty thousand years an eagle should 
feed upon his vitals. The brutal taunts and scoffs of the two savage sheriffs, 
" Strengtli" and '' Force," who di-ag him to the spot ; the reluctant riveting of his 
chains and bolts by the sympathizing Vulcan ; the graceful pity of the ocean-nymphs 
who come to condole with the fettered god in his agony ; the visit of the once-beau- 
tiful maiden lo, now changed by Juno's jealousy into a horned heifer, and forced to 
wander up and down the earth, incessantly tormented by a gadfly ; the threats and 
expostulations of Mercury, who is sent by Zeus to force from the fettered god a secret 
he is withholding ; the unflinching defiance of Prometheus, and the final opening of 
the dreadful abyss into which, amid fearful thunders, lightnings, and " gusts of all 
fierce winds," the rock and its sturdy prisoner drop suddenly and are swallowed up,— 
all these are portrayed in this drama with a fiery force, majesty, and passion which 
in the whole range of literature is scarcely equalled. 

From Prometheus Bound.— (Prome^Aews to Mercury.) 
" Let the locks of the lightning, all bristling and whitening, 
Flash, coiling me round, 
While the ether goes surging 'neath thunder and scourging 
Of wild winds unbound ! 
, Let the blast of the firmament whirl from its place 
The earth rooted below. 
And the brine of the ocean, in rapid emotion, 

Be it driven in the face 
Of the stars up in heaven, as they walk to and fro ! 


Let him hurl me anon, into Tartarus — on — 

To the blackest degree, 
With Necessity's vortices strangling me down ; 
But he cannot join death to a fate meant for me! " 

—Mrs. Browning''s Translation. 

Sophocles (495-405 b. c), the sweetness and purity of whose style 
gained for him the title of the Attic Bee, was only twenty-seven 
years old when he won the prize away from ^schylus, then ap- 
proaching sixty. Athens was just entering upon the most brilliant 
period in her career, the magnificent interval of intellectual glory 
following Marathon, Thermopylae, Salamis, and Plataea, and continu- 
ing through the Peloponnesiau war. JEschylus had been a gallant 
soldier ; Sophocles was a true gentleman. Less grand and impetu- 
ous, more graceful and artistic than his great couipetitor, he came 
like sunshine after storm. The tragedies with which the elder 
poet had thrilled the Athenian heart were tinctured with the un- 
earthly mysteries of his Eleusinian home ; the polished creations of 
Sophocles reflected the gentle charm of his own native Colo'nus. 
Sophocles improved the style of the tragic chorus, and attired his 
actors in " splendid robes, jewelled chaplets, and embroidered gir- 
dles." Of him, as of ^schylus, we have only seven tragedies 
remaining, though he is said to have composed over one hundred. 

(Edipus the King was selected by Aristotle as the master-piece of tragedy, 
CEdipus, so runs the plot, was son of Laius, king of Thebes. An oracle having fore- 
told that he should " slay his father and marry his mother," Jocasta, the queen, to 
avert this fate, exposes him to die in the forest. Here a shepherd finds and rescues 
him. He grows up to manhood, unconscious of his story, and journeys to Thebes. 
On the way he meets an old man, whose chariot jostles against him. A quarrel en- 
sues, and he slays the gray-haired stranger. Arrived at Thebes, he finds the whole 
city in commotion. A frightful monster, called the Sphinx, has propounded a riddle 
which no one can solve, and every failure costs a life. So terrible is the crisis that 
the hand of the widowed queen is offered to any one who will unravel the enigma 
and save the state. (Edipus is the successful man, and he weds Jocasta, his mother. 
After many years come fearful plagues and pestilences. The oracle, again consulted, 
declares they shall continue until the murderer of Laius is found and punished. 
The unconscious (Edipus actively pushes the search, and at last is confronted with 
the revelation of his own unhappy destiny. Jocasta hangs herself in horror, and 
CEdipus, tearing a golden buckle from her dress, thrusts its sharp point into both 
his eyes and goes out to roam the earth. 

In (Edipus at Colonns the subject is continued. Here the blind old man, attended 
by his faithful daughter, Antig'one, has wandered to Colonus, where he unwittingly 
sits down to rest within the precincts of a grove sacred to the Gentle Goddesses. 
The indignant citizens come out, and, discovering who the old man is, command him 
to depart from their borders. Meantime, war is raging in Thebes between his two 
sons, and an oracle has declared that only his body will decide success. Every means 
is used to obtain it, but the gods have willed that his sons shall slay each other. 
CEdipus, always " driven by fate," follows the Queen of Night, upon whose borders 
he has trespassed. The last moment comes ; a sound of subterranean thunder is 
heard ; his daughters, wailing and terrified, cling to him in wild embrace ; a mys- 
terious voice calls from beneath, " (Edipus ! • King CEdipus ! come hither ; thou art 
wanted I " The earth opens, and the old man disappears forever. 

168 GREECE. 

The following is from a famous chorus * in (Edipus at Colonus, describing the 
beauties of the surrounding scenery : 

" Here ever and aye, through the greenest vale, 

Gush the wailing notes of the nightingale, 

From her home where the dark-hued ivy weaves 

With the grove of the god a night of leaves ; 

And the vines blossom out from the lonely glade, 

And the suns of the summer are dim in the shade, 

And the storms of the winter have never a breeze 

That can shiver a leaf from the charmed trees. 

And wandering there forever, the fountains are at play, 

And Cephissus feeds his river from their sweet urns, day by day ; 

The river knows no dearth ; 

Adown the vale the lapsing waters glide, 

And the pure rain of that pellucid tide 

Calls the rife beauty from the heart of earth." 

—Bulwer's Translation. 
Euripides (480-406 B.C.), the Scenic Philosopher, was born in 
Salaniis on the day of the great sea-fight.t Twenty-five years after- 
ward—the year after ^schylus died — his first trilogy was put 
upon the stage. Athens had changed in the half-century since the 
poet of Eleusis came before the public, A new element was steadily 
gaining ground. Doubts, reasonings, and disbeliefs in the marvellous 
stories told of the gods were creeping into society. Schools of 
rhetoric and philosophy were springing up, and already " to use dis- 
course of reason " was accounted more important than to recite the 
Eiad and Odyssey entire. To -^schylus and to most of his hearers 
the Fates and the Furies had been dread realities, and the gods upon 
Olympus as undoubted personages as, Miltiades or Themistocles ; 
Sophocles, too, who avoided everything that might disturb the 
serenity of his art, accepted the Homeric deities as he found them ; 

* An interesting incident is connected with this chorus. Sophocles, then an old 
man, had been accused by a covetous son of being incapable of managing his prop- 
erty. The action was brought into court, whither the aged poet came and, as his 
only defence, recited some lines on Colonus which he had just written. The jury 
burst into applause, the case was hastily dismissed, and the white-haired Sophocles 
returned to his home to spend the remainder of his days in greater honor than before. 
" We can imagine Sophocles in his old age recounting the historic names and scenes 
with which he had been so familiar ; how he had listened to the thunder of ' Olympian 
Pericles' ; how he had been startled by the chorus of Furies in the play of ^)^chylus ; 
how he had talked with the garrulous and open-hearted Herodotus ; how he had fol- 
lowed Anaxagoras, tbe e-reat Sceptic, in the cool of the day among a throng of his 
disciples ; how he ua,a walked with Phidias and supped with Aspasia."— Co/^i«s. 

t The three great tragic poets of Athens were singularly connected together by 
the battle of Salamis. .<Eschylus, in the heroic vigor of his life, fought there ; 
Euripides, whose parents had fled from Athens on the approach of the Persians, was 
born near the scene, probably on the battle-day ; and Sophocles, a beautiful boy of 
fifteen, danced to the choral song of Simonides, celebrating the victory. 


but Euripides belonged to the party of " advanced thinkers," and 
believed no more in the gods of the myths and legends than in the 
prophets and soothsayers of his own time. Discarding the ideal 
heroes and heroines of Sophocles, he modeled bis characters after 
real men and women, endowing them with human passions and 
affections.* Of his eighty or ninety plays, seventeen remain. 

Medfi/a is his most celebrated tragedy. A Colchian princess skilled in sorcery 
becomes the wife of Jason, the hero of the Golden Fleece. Being afterward thrust 
aside for a new love, she finds her revenge by sending the bride an enchanted robe 
and crown, in which she is no sooner clothed than they burst into flame and con- 
sume her. To complete her vengeance Medea murders her two young sons— so deeply 
wronged by their father, so tenderly loved by herself— and then, after hovering over 
the palace long enough to mock and jeer at the anguish of the frantic Jason, she is 
whirled away with the dead bodies of her children in a dragon-borne car, the chariot 
of her grandsire, the sun. 

Fkom Medea.— (if€c?ea to her sons.) 
" Why gaze you at me with your eyes, my children ? 

Why smile your last sweet smile ? Ah me ! ah me I 

What shall I do ? My heart dissolves within me, 

Friends, when I see the glac eyes of my sons 1 

Yet whence this weakness ? Do I wish to reap 

The scorn that springs from enemies unpunished ? 

Die they must ; this must be, and since it must, 

I, I myself will slay them, I who bore them. 
O my sons ! 

Give, give your mother your dear hands to kiss. 

O dearest hands, and mouths most dear to me. 

And forms and noble faces of my sons ! 

O tender touch and sweet breath of my boys ! " 

—Sijmonds^s Translation. 
Comedy. — When Aristophanes appeared with the first of his 
sharp satires, Euripides had been for a quarter of a century before 
the public, and the Peloponnesian war was near at hand. The new 
poet whose genius was so full of mockery and mirth was a rich 
aristocratic Athenian, the natural enemy of the ultra-democratic 
mob-orators of his day, whom he heartily hated and despised. In 
the bold and brilliant satires which now electrified all Athens, 

* Aristophanes ridiculed his scenic art, denounced his theology, and accused him 
of corrupting society by the falsehood and deceit shown by his characters. The line 
in one of his plays, 

" Though the tongue swore, the heart remained unsworn," 
caused his arrest for seeming to justify perjury. When the people were violent in 
censure, Euripides would sometimes appear on the stage and beg them to sit the 
play through. On one occasion when their displeasure was extreme he tartly ex- 
claimed, " Good people, it is my business to teach you and not to be taught by you." 
Tradition relates that he was torn to pieces by doizs, set upon him by two rival poets, 
while he was walking in the garden of the Macedoman king, at Pella. The Athenians 
were eager to honor him after nis death, and erected a statue in the theatre where he 
had been so often hissed as well as applauded. 

170 GREECE. 

every prominent public man was liable to see his personal peculiar- 
ities paraded on the stage.* The facts and follies of the times were 
pictured so vividly that when Dionysius, the Tyrant of Syracuse, 
wrote to Plato for information as to affairs in Athens, the great 
philosopher sent for answer a copy of The Clouds. 

Aristophanes wrote over fifty plays, of which eleven, in part or 
all, remain. 

Of these, The Frogs and the WomarCs Festival were direct satires on Euripides. 
The Knights was written, so the author declared, to "cut up Cleon the Tanner into 
shoe-leather." t The Clouds ridiculed the new-school philosophers ; $ and The 
WaspSy the Athenian passion for law-courts. 

From the Clouds.— (-Scewe ; Socrates, absorbed in thought, swinging in a basket, 
surrounded by his students. Enter Strepsiades, a visitor.) 
Str. Who hangs dangling in yonder basket ? 

Stud. HIMSELF. Str And who's Himself ? Stud. Why, Socrates. 
Str. Ho, Socrates I Sweet, darling Socrates! 
Soc. Why callest thou me, poor creature of a day ? 
Str. First tell me, pray, what are you doing up there ? 
Soc. I walk in air and contemplate the sun 1 
Str. Oh, thafs the way that you despise the gods — 

You get so near them on your perch there — eh ? 
Soc. I never could have found out things divine. 

Had I not hung my mind up thus, and mixed 

My subtle intellect with its kindred air. 

Had I regarded such things from below, 

I had learnt nothing. For the earth absorbs 

Into itself the moisture of the brain. 

It is the same with water-cresses. 
Str. Dear me 1 So water-cresses grow by thinking ! 

The so-called Old Comedy, in which individuals were satirized, 
died with Aristophanes, and to it succeeded the Mw Comedy, por- 
traying general types of human nature, and dealing with domestic 
life and manners, 

Menander (343-391 b. c), founder of this new school, was a warm 

* Even the deities were burlesqued, and the devout Athenians, who denounced 
Euripides for venturing to doubt the gods and goddesses, were wild in applause when 
Aristophanes dragged them out as absurd cowards, or blustering braggarts, or as 
" Baking peck-loaves and frying stacks of pancakes." 

t The masks of the actors in Greek comedy were made to caricature the features 
of the persons represented. Cleon was at this time so powerful that no artist dared 
to make a mask for his character in the play, nor could any man be found bold 
enough to act the part, Aristophanes therefore took it himself, smearing his face 
with wine lees, which he declared " well represented the purple and bloated visage of 
the demagogue." 

X It is said that Socrates, who was burlesqued in this play, was present at its per- 
formance, which he heartily enjoyed ; and that he even mounted on a bench that every 
one might see the admirable resemblance between himself and his counterfeit upon 
the stage. 



friend of Epicurus (p. 177), whose philosophy he adopted. He ad- 
mired, as heartily as Aristophanes had disliked, Euripides, and his 
style was manifestly influenced by that of the tragic poet. He ex- 
celled in delineation of character, and made his dramatic personages 
so real that a century afterward it was written of him, 

" O Life, and O Menander I Speak and say 
Which copied which ? Or Nature, or the play ? " 

Of his works only snatches remain, many of which were household proverbs 
among the Greeks and Romans. Such were: " He is well cleansed that hath his con- 
science clean," "The workman is greater than his work," and the memorable one 
quoted by St. Paul, " Evil communications corrupt good manners." 



History. — Here also we have an illustrious trio: Herodotus 
(484-420), Thucydides (471-400), and Xenophon (about 431-355). 
Herodotus of Halicarnassus we recall as an old friend met in Egyptian 
history. Having rank, wealth, and a passion for travel, he roamed 
over Egypt, Phoenicia, Babylon, Judea, and Persia, studying their 
history, geography, and national customs. In Athens, where he 
spent several years, he was the intimate friend of Sophocles. His 
liistory was divided into nine books, named after the nine muses.* 
The principal subject is the Greek and Persian War; but, by way of 
episode, sketches of various nations arc introduced. His style is 
artless, graphic, flowing, rich in description, and interspersed with 

* Leonidas of Tarentum, a favorite writer of epigrams, who lived two hundred 
years after Herodotus, thus accounted for their names : 

" The muses nine came one day to Herodotus and dined, 
And in return, their host to pay, left each a book behind." 

172 GREECE. 

dialogue. He has been described as having " the head of a sage, 
the heart of a mother, and the simplicity of a child." 

Thucydides is said to have been won to his vocation by hearing 
the history of Herodotus read at Olympia, which charmed him to 
tears. Rich, noble, and educated, he was in the prime of his man- 
hood when, at the opening of the Peloponnesian War, he received 
command of a squadron. Having failed to arrive with his ships in 
time to save a certain town from surrender, Cleon caused his dis- 
grace, and he went into exile to escape a death penalty. During the 
next twenty years he prepared his History of the Peloponnesian War. 
His style is terse, noble, and spirited ; as a historian he is accurate 
and impartial. " His book," says Macaulay, " is that of a man and 
a statesman, and in this respect presents a remarkable contrast to the 
delightful childishness of Herodotus." 

Xenophon's historical fame rests mostly on his Ancd)asis* which 
relates the expedition of Cyrus and the Retreat of the Ten Thousand. 
He was one of the generals who conducted this memorable retreat, 
in which he displayed great firjuness, courage, and military skill. A 
few years later the Athenians formed their alliance with Persia, and 
Xenophon, who still held command under his friend and patron, the 
Spartan king Agesilaus, was brought into the position of an enemy 
to his state. A decree of banishment having been passed against 
him in Athens, his Spartan friends furnished him with a beautiful 
country residence about two miles from Olympia, where he spent 
the best years of his long life. Next to the Anabasis ranks his 
Memorabilia (memoirs) of Socrates, f his friend and teacher. 
Xenophon was said by the ancients to be " the first man that 
ever took notes of conversation." The Memorabilia is a collec- 
tion of these, in which the character and doctrines of Socrates 
are discussed. Xenophon was the author of fifteen works, all of 
which are extant. His style, simple, clear, racy, refined, and noted 
for colloquial vigor, is considered the model of classical Greek 

Oratory. — Eloquence was studied in Greece as an art, Perides, 

* This word means the " march up," viz., from the sea to Babylon. A more ap- 
propriate name would be Katabasis (march down), as most of the book is occupied 
with the details of the return journey. 

t There is a story that Xenophon, when a boy, once met Socrates in a lane. 
The philosopher, barring the way with his cane, demanded, ''Where is food 
sold?" Xenophon having replied, Socrates asked, "And where are men made 
good and noble?" The lad hesitated, whereupon Socrates answered himself by 
saying, " f^ollow me and learn." Xenophon obeyed, and was henceforth bis devoted 



though he spoke only upon great occasions, was famed for his powers 
of address, but 

Demosthenes (385-322 B.C.) 
was the unrivaled orator of 
Greece, if not of the world. 
An awkward, sickly, stam- 
mering boy, by his deter- 
mined energy and persever- 
ance he " placed himself at 
the head of all the mighty 
masters of speech — unap- 
proachable forever. " — {Lord 
Brougham.) His first address 
before the public assembly 
was hissed and derided ; but 
he had resolved to be- 
come an orator, and nothing 
daunted him. He employed 
every means to overcome his 

natural defects,* and at last was rewarded by the palm of eloquence. 
In his style there was no effort at display, but every sentence was 
made subservient to the great end of his argument. " We never 
think of his words," said Fenelon ; " we think only of the things he 
says." His oration Upon the Crown t is his master-23iece. 

Philosophy and Science.— The Seven Sages {Appendix) lived 
about 600 B. c. X They w^ere celebrated for their moral, social, and 
political wisdom. One of them, named 


* That he might study without hindrance he shut himself up for months in a 
room underground, and, it is said, copied the historj' of Thucydides eight times that 
he might be infused with its concentrated thought and energy. Out on the seashore, 
with his mouth filled with pebbles, he exercised his voice until it sounded full and 
clear above the tumult of the waves ; while in the privacy of his own room, before 
a full-length mirror, he disciplined his awkward gestures till he had schooled them 
into grace and aptness. 

t It had been proposed that his public services should be rewarded by a golden 
crown— the custom being for an orator to wear a crown in token of his inviolability 
while speaking, ^schines, a fellow -orator, whom he had accused of favoring Philip, 
opposed the measure. The discussion lasted si?: years. When the two finally appeared 
before a vast and excited assembly for the closing argument, the impetuous eloquence 
of Demosthenes swept everything before it. In after years, though his whole life had 
proved him a zealous patriot, he was charged with having received bribes from 
Macedon. Exiled, and under sentence of death, he poisoned himself. 

X About this time lived ^sop, who, though born a slave, gained his freedom and 
the friendship of kings and wise men by his peculiar wit. His fables, long preserved 
by oral tradition, were the delight of the Athenians, who read iu them many a pithy 

174 GEEECE. 

Tholes^ who had studied in Egypt, founded a school of thinkers. 
He taught that all things were generated from water, into which they 
would all be ultimately resolved. During the next two centuries 
many philosophers arose, among whom the following are especially 
noted : 

Anaxlmander, the scientist, invented a sun-dial — an instrument 
which had long been used in Egypt and Babylonia — and wrote a 
geographical treatise, eru'iched with the first known map. 

Anaxagoras discovered the cause of eclipses, and the difference 
between the planets and fixed stars. He did not, like his predecessors, 
regard fire, air, or water as the origin of all things, but believed in a 
Supreme Intellect. He was accused of atheism,* tried, and condemned 
to death, but his friend Pericles succeeded in changing the sentence 
to exile. Contemporary with him was 

Hipijocrates^ the father of physicians, who came from a family of 
priests devoted to ^sculapius, the god of medicine. He wrote 
many works on physiology, and referred diseases to natural causes 
and not, as was the popular belief, to the displeasure of the gods. 

Pythagoras, the greatest of early philosophers, was the first to 
assert the movement of the earth in the heavens ; he also made some 
important discoveries in geology and mathematics. At his school 
in Crotona, Italy, his disciples were initiated with secret rites ; one 
of the tests of fitness being the power to keep silence under every 
circumstance. He based all creation upon the numerical rules of 
harmony, and asserted that the heavenly spheres roll in musical 
rhythm. Teaching the Egyptian doctrine of transmigration, he 
professed to remember what had happened to himself in a previous 
existence when he was a Trojan hero. His followers reverenced him 
as half-divine, and their unquestioning faith passed into the proverb. 
Ipse dixit (He has said it). 

Socrates (470-399 b. c). — During the entire thirty years of the 
Peloponnesian War a grotesque-featured, ungainly, shabbily-dressed, 
bare-footed man might have been seen w^andering about the streets 
of Athens, in all weathers and at all hours, in the crowded market- 
place, among the workshops, wherever men were gathered, inces- 
santly asking and answering, questions. This man was Socrates, a 

public lesson. His statue, the work of Lysippus (p. 183), was placed opposite to those 
of the Seven Sages in Athens. Socrates greatly admired ^sop's fables, and during 
his last days in prison amused himself by versifying them. 

* The Greeks v/ere especially angry because Anaxagoras taught that the sun is 
not a god. ' It is a curious fact that they condemned to death as an atheist the first 
JU8U among them who advanced the idea of One Supreme Deity, 


self-taught philosopher, who believed that he had a special mission 
from the gods, and was attended by a '' divine voice " which coun- 
seled and directed him. The questions he discussed pertained to 
life and morality, and were especially pointed against the Sophists, 
who were the skeptics and quibblers of the day. His earnest elo- 
quence attracted all classes,* and among his friends were Alcibiades, 
Euripides, and Aristophanes. A man who, by his irony and argu- 
ment, was continually "driving men to their wits' end," naturally 
made enemies. One morning there appeared in the portico where 
such notices were usually displayed the following indictment : 
" Socrates is guilty of crime ; first, for not worshipping the gods 
whom the city worships, but introducing new divinities of his own ; 
secondly, for corrupting the youth. The penalty due is death." 
Having been tried and convicted, he was sentenced to drink a cup 
of the poison-hemlock, which he took in his prison chamber, sur- 
rounded by friends with whom he cheerfully conversed till the last. 
Socrates taught the unity of God, the immortality of the soul, the 
beauty and necessity of virtue, and the moral responsibility of man. 
He was a devout believer in oracles, which he frequently consulted. 
He left no writings, but his philosophy has been preserved by his 
faithful followers, Xenophon and Plato. 

The Four Great Schools of Philosophy (4th century b. c). — 
The Academic school was founded by that devoted disciple 
of Socrates, Plato (429-347), who delivered his lectures in the 
Academic Gardens. Plato f is perhaps best known from his argu- 

* "Amidst the ofay life, the beautiful forms, the brilliant colors of an Athenian 
multitude and an Athenian street, the repulsive features, tlie unwieldy figure, the 
naked feet, the rough threadbare attire of the philosopher, must have excited every 
sentiment of astonishment and ridicule which strong contrast can produce. It was 
(so his disciples described it) as if one of the marble satyrs, which sat in grotesque 
attitudes with pipe or flute in the sculptors' shops at Athens, had left his seat of 
stone, and walked into the plane-tree avenue, or the gymnastic colonnade. Gradually 
the crowd gathered round him. At first he spoke of the tanners, and the smiths, and 
the drovers, who were plying their trades about him ; and they shouted with laughter 
as he poured forth his homely jokes. But soon the magic charm of his voice made 
itself felt. The peculiar sweetness of its tone had an effect which even the thunder 
of Pericles failed to produce. The laughter ceased— the crowd thickened— the gay 
youth, whom nothing else could tame, stood transfixed and awe-struck in his pres- 
ence—there was a solemn thrill in his words, such as his hearers could compare to 
nothing but the mysterious sensation produced by the clash of drum and cymbal in 
the worship of the great mother of the gods— the head swam— the heart leaped at the 
sound— tears rushed from their eyes, and they felt that, unless they tore themselves 
away from that fascinated circle, they should sit down at his feet and grow old in 
listening to the marvelous music of this second Marsyas." 

t The Greeks had no family or clan names, a single appellation serving for an 
individual. To save confusion the father's name was frequently added. Attic wit 

176 GREECE. 

ments in regard to the immortality of the soul. He Ijelieved in one 
eternal God, without whose aid no man can attain wisdom or vir- 
tue, and in a previous as well as a future existence. All earthly 
knowledge, he averred, is but the recollection of ideas gained by the 
soul in its former disembodied state, and as the body is only a hin- 
drance to perfect communion with the " eternal essences," it follows 
that death is to be desired rather than feared. His works are written 
in dialogue, Socrates being represented as the principal speaker. 
The abstruse topics of which he treats are enlivened by wit, fan(;y, 
humor, and picturesque illustration. His style was considered so 
perfect that an ancient writer exclaimed, " If Jupiter had spoken 
Greek, he would have spoken it like Plato." The fashionables of 
Athens thronged to the Academic Gardens to listen to " the sweet 
speech of the master, melodious as the song of the cicadas in the 
trees above his head." Even the Atli«nian women— shut out by 
custom from the intellectual groves — shared in the universal eager- 
ness, and, disguised in male attire, stole in to hear the famous 

2. The Peripatetic school was founded by Aristotle (384-322), 
who delivered his lectures while walking up and down the shady 
porches of the Lyceum, surrounded by his pupils (hence called 
Peripatetics, walkers). An enthusiastic student under Plato, he 
remained at the academy until his master's death. A few years 
afterward he accepted the in\'itation of Philip of Macedon to become 
instructor to the young Alexander. "Returning to Athens in 335 B.C. 
he brought the magnificent scientific collections given him by his 
royal patron, and opened his school in the Lyceum Gymnasium. 
Suspected of partisanship with Macedon and accused of impiety, 
to avoid the fate of Socrates he fled to Euboea, where he died. 
Aristotle, more than any other philosopher, originated ideas whose 
influence is still felt. He was the father of zoology and of logic, 
the principles which he laid down in the latter study having never 
been superseded. His books include works on metaphysics, psychol- 
ogy, ethics, poetics, rhetoric, and various other subjects. He taught 
that all reasoning should be based upon observation of facts. His 
style is intricate and abstruse. He differed much from Plato, and 

supplied abundant nicknaraos, suggested by some personal peculiarities or cir- 
cumstance. Thus this philosopher, whose real name was Aristocles, was called 
Plato because of his broad brow. He was descended on his father's side from 
Codrus, the last hero-king of Attica, and on his mother's from Solon ; but his ad- 
mirers, not content with even this distinguished lineage, made him a son of the god 
Apollo, and told how in his infancy the bees had settled on his lips as a prophecy of 
the honeyed words which were to fall from them. 


though he recognized an infinite, iinmateriul God, doubted the exist- 
ence of a future life, 

3. The Epicureans were the followers oi Epicurus (340-270 b. c), 
who taught that the chief end of life is enjoyment. Himself a man 
of the purest morals, he recommended virtue for the sake of its 
hajjpy results, but his doctrines were so iDerverted by his followers 
that the word " Epicurean " has become a synonym for loose and 
luxurious living. — The Cynics (kunikos, dog-like) went to the other 
extreme, and, despising- pleasure, gloried in pain and privation. 
They scofied at the courtesies of society, and disregarded the ties of 
family or country. The sect was founded by Antisthenes, a disciple 
of Socrates, but its principal representative was Diogenes, who, it is 
said, ate and slept in a tub which he carried about on his head. He 
was noted for his caustic wit, which he indulged without reference 
to persons,* and for his rude manners, the outgrowth of his creed. 

4. The Stoics were headed by Zeno (355-260 b. c), and took their 
name from the painted portico {stoa) under which he gathered his 
pupils. Pain and pleasure were equally despised by them, and in- 
difference to all external conditions was considered the highest type 
of virtue. For his example of iTitegrity, Zeno was decreed a golden 
chaplet and a public tomb in the Ceramicus. 

Later Greek Writers. — Plutarch (50-120 a. d.) was the great- 
est of ancient biographers. His Parallel Lives of Greeks and Romans 
still delights hosts of readei-s by its admirable portraiture of the 
most celebrated men of antiquity. Ludan (120-200 a. d.) wrote 
witty dialogues, in which he ridiculed the absurdities of Grecian 
mythology and the follies of false philosophers. His Sale of the 
Philosoj)hers humorously pictures the founders of the different schools 
as being put up at auction by Mercury. 

Libraries and Writing Materials. — Few collections of books 
were made before the Peloponnesian War, but in later times it became 
fashion able. to have private libraries,! and after the days of the tragic 

* It is said that Alexander the Great once visited the surly philosopher, whom he 
found seated in his tub, basking in the sun. "I am Alexander," said the monarch, 
astonished at the indifference with which he was received. " And I am Diogenes," 
returned the cynic. " Have you no favor to ask of me ? " inquired the king. " Yes," 
growled Dioi,'enes, " to get out of my sunlight.'''' This story, though perhaps apocry- 
phal, illustrates the character of the " snarling philosopher." He was vain of his 
disregard for the decencies of life. At a sumptuous banquet given by Plato he en- 
tered uninvited, and, rubbing his soiled feet on the rich carpets, cried out, "Thus I 
trample on your pride, O Plato ! " The polite host, who knew his visitor's weakness, 
aptly retorted, " But with still greater pride, O Diogenes ! " 

t Aristotle had an immense library, which was sold after- his death. Large 



poets Athens not only abounded in book-stalls, but a place in the 
Agora was formally assigned to book -auctioneering. The manu- 
script copies were rapidly multiplied by means of slave labor, 
and became a regular article of export to the colonies. The 
Egyptian papyrus and, afterward, the fine but expensive parchment 
were used in copying books ; the papyrus being written on only one 
side, the parchment on both sides.* 

The reed pen was used as in Egypt, 
and double inkstands for black and red 
ink were invented, having a ring by 
which to fasten them to the girdle of 
the writer. Waxed tablets were em- 
ployed for letters, note-books, and 
other requirements of daily life. These 
were written upon with a metal or 
ivory pencil {styltis), pointed at one 
end and broadly flattened at the other, 
so that in case of mistake the writing 
could be smoothed out and the tablet 
made as good as new. A large bur- 
nisher was sometimes used for the 
latter purpose. Several tablets, joined 
together, formed a book. 

Education. — A Greek father held the lives of his young children 
at his will, and the casting out of infants to the chances of fate was 
authorized by law throughout Greece, except at Thebes. Girls were 
especially subject to this unnatural treatment. If a child was rescued, 
it became the property of its finder. 

The Athenian boy, when seven years old, was sent to school — the 
school-hours being from sunrise to sunset. Until sixteen years of 
age he was always attended in his walks by a pedagogue — usually 


libraries have been found in the remains of Pompeii and Herculaneum, and some 
of the volumes, although nearly reduced to coal, have by great care been unrolled 
and published. 

* The width of the manuscript (varying from six to fourteen inches) formed the 
length of the page, the size of the roll depending upon the number of pages in a 
book. When finished the roll was coiled around a stick, and a ticket containing the 
title was appended to it Documents were sealed by tying a string around them and 
affixing to the knot a bit of clay or wax, which was afterward stamped with a seal. 
In libraries the books were arranged on shelves with the ends outward, or in pigeon- 
holes ; or several scrolls were put together in a cylindrical box with a cover. The 
reader unrolled the scroll as he advanced, rolling up the completed pages with his 
other hand. (See illustration, p. 279.) 



some trusty and intelligent slave, too old for hard work — who, how- 
ever, never entered the study room, no visitors, except near relatives 
of the master, being allowed therein on penalty of death. The boy 
was first taught grammar, arithmetic, and writing. His chief books 
were Hesiod and Homer, which he committed to memory. The 
moral lessons they contained were caiefully enjoined, for, says 
Plato, " Greek parents are more careful about the manner and morals 
of the youth than about his letters and music." Discipline was 
enforced with the rod. All the great lyric poems 
were set to music, which was universally taught, 
the lyre and other stringed instruments having 
most favor. " Here again," says Plato, " the teach- 
ers look carefully to virtuous habits ; and rhythms 
and harmonies are made familiar to the souls of 
the young that they may become more gentle, and 
better men in speech and action." Robust health 
and a symmetrical muscular development were 
considered so important that the young Athenian 
between sixteen and eighteen years of age spent 
most of his time in gynmastic exercises. This was 
a period of probation, and though the pedagogue 
was dismissed, the youth's behavior was carefully 
noted by his elders. At eighteen he was solemnly 
enrolled in the list of citizens. Two years were 
now given to public service, after which he was 
free to follow his own inclinations. If he were 
scholarly-disposed, and had money, and leisure,* 
he might spend his whole life in learning. 

The little an Athenian girl was required to know was learned 
from her mother and nurses at home. 

The Sj.artan lad of seven years was placed under the control of 
the state. Henceforth he ate his coarse hard bread and black broth 
at the public table,t and slept in the public dormitory. Here he 


* Our word school is derived from the Greek word for leisure. The education of 
men was obtained, not so much from books as from the philosophical lectures, the 
public assembly, the theatre, and the law courts, where the most of their unoccupied 
time was spent. 

t The principal dish at the mess-table was a black broth, made from a traditional 
recipe. Wine mixed with water was drunk, but toasts were never given, for the 
Spartans thought it a sin to use two words when one would do. Intoxication and 
the symposium (p. 197) were forbidden by law. Fat men were regarded with sus- 
picion. Small boys eat on low stools near their fathers at meals, and were given half 
rations, which they ate in silence. 



was taught to disdain all home-affections as a weakness, and to 
think of himself as belonging only to Sparta. All the' Persian 
devices for making hardy men were improved upon. He was 
brought up to despise, not only softness and luxury, but hunger, 
thirst, torture, and death. Always kept on small rations of food^ 
he was sometimes allowed only what he could steal. If he escaped 
detection, his adroitness was applauded ; if he were caught in the 
act, he was severely flogged ; but though he were whipped to death, 
he must neither wince nor groan.* 

^c^^ fx sQ-^S^a 


Monuments and Art. — The three styles of Grecian architecture 
— Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian — are distinguished by the shape of 
their columns (see cut, p. 182). Of the Doric, which was originally 
borrowed from Egypt (p. 40), the Parthenon at Athens, and the 
Temple of Zeus at Olympia, were among the most celebrated. 

The Parthenon or House of the Virgin, situated on the Acropolis, 

* The Spartan lad had a model set before him. It was that of a boy who stole a 
fox and hid it under his shc/t cloak. He must have been somewhat awkward— no 
doubt the Spartan children were warned against this fault in his morals— for he was 
suspected, and ordered to be flogged till he confessed. While the lashes fell the fox 
struggled to escape. The boy, with his quivering back raw and bleeding, and his 
breast torn by savage claws and teeth, stood sturdily and flinched not. At last the 
desperate fox reached his heart, and he dropped dead— but a hero I 


was sacred to Pallas Athena, the patron goddess of Attica. It was 
built throughout of fine marble from the quarry of Mt. Pentelicus, 
near Athens, its glistening whiteness being here and there subdued 
by colors and gilding. The magnificent sculptures * which adorned 
it were designed by Phidias— that inimitable artist whom Pliny desig- 
nates as " before all, Phidias the Athenian." The statue of the god- 
dess within the temple was forty feet high ; her face, neck, arms, 
hands and feet were ivory; her drapery was pure gold.f 

The Temple at Olympia was built of porous stone, the roof being 
tiled with Pentelic marble. It stood on the banks of the Alpheus, 
in a sacred grove (Altis) of plane and olive trees. The statue of the 
Deity, by Phidias, was so superstitiously venerated that not to have 
seen it was considered a real calamity. + 

The most celebrated Ionic temple was that of Artemis (Diana) at 
Ephesus, which was three times destroyed by fire, and as often re- 
built with increased magnificence. Corinthian architecture was not 
generally used in Greece before the age of Alexander the Great. § 
The most beautiful example is the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates 
(p. 188) in Athens. 

* These sculptures, illustrating events in the mythical life of the goddess, are among 
the finest in existence. Some of them were sent to England by Lord Elgin when 
he was British ambassador to Turkey, and are now in the British Museum, where, 
with various other sculptures from the Athenian Acropolis, all more or less muti- 
lated, they are known as the Elgin Marbles. 

t The Greeks accused Phidias of having purloined some of the gold provided him 
for this purpose ; but as, by the advice of his shrewd friend Pericles, he had so at- 
tached the metal that it could be removed, he was able to disprove the charge. He 
was afterward accused of impiety for having placed the portraits of Pericles and him- 
self in the group upon Athena's shield. He died in prison. 

% The statue, sixty feet high, was seated on an elaborately-sculptured throne of 
cedar, inlaid with gold, ivory, ebony, and precious stones ; like the statue of Athena 
in the Parthenon, the face, feet, and body were of ivory ; the eyes were brilliant 
jewels, and the hair and beard pure gold. The drapery was beaten gold, enameled 
with flowers. One hand grasped a scepter, composed of precious metals, and sur- 
mounted by an eagle ; in the other, like Athena, he held a golden statue of Nike (the 
winged goddess of victory). The statue was so high, in proportion to the building, 
that the Greeks were wont to say that " if the god should attempt to rise he would 
burst open the roof" The eff'ect of its great size, as Phidias had calculated, was to 
impress the beholder with the pent-up power and majesty of the greatest of gods. 
A copy of the head of this statue is in the Vatican. The statue itself, removed by 
the emperor Theodosius I. to Constantinople, was lost in the disastrous fire (a. d. 475) 
which destroyed the Library in that city. At the same time perished the Venus of 
Cnidos, by Praxiteles (p. 183), which the ancients ranked next to the Phidian Zeus 
and Athena. 

§ The invention of the Corinthian capital is ascribed to Callimachus, who, seeing 
a small basket covered with a tile placed in the center of an acanthus plant which 
grew on the grave of a young lady of Corinth, was so struck with its beauty that he 
executed a capital in imitation of it.~ Westropp's Hand-book of Architeclure. 



The Propylea, which formed the entrance to the Athenian 
Acropolis, was a magnificent structure, and opened upon a group of 
temples, altars, and statues which has never been equalled. All the 
splendor of Grecian art was concentrated on the state edifices, archi- 
tectural display on private residences being forbidden by law. After 
the Macedonian conquest, dwellings grew luxurious, and Demosthenes 
once severely rebuked certain citizens for living in houses whose 
ornamentation surpassed that of the public buildings. 





(Xy shaft: 2, capital : ■},. architrave : i„ frieze ; ^^ cornice. The entire pari above 
the capital is the entablature. At the bottom of the shaft is the base., which rests 
upon the pedestal.) 

The Athenian Agora (market-place), which was the fashionable 
morning resort, was surrounded with porticoes, one of which was deco- 
rated with i^aintings commemorative of glorious Grecian achievements. 
Within the enclosure were grouped temples, altars, and statues. 

Paintings were usually on wood ; wall-painting was a separate 
and inferior art. The most celebrated painters were : AjJoUodorus of 
Athens, sometimes called the Greek Rembrandt ; Zeuxls and Parrlia- 
sius, who contended together for the prize — Parrhasius producing a 
picture representing a curtain, which his rival himself mistook for 
a real hanging, and Zeuxis offering a picture of grapes, which de- 
ceived even the birds; Apelles, the most renowned of all Greek 
artists, who painted with four colors, which he blended with a 


varnish of bis own invention; liis friend Protogenea^ the careful 
painter, sculptor, and writer on art ; Mcias, who having refused a 
sum equal to seventj^ thousand dollars from Ptolemy I. for his master- 
piece, bequeathed it to Athens ; and Pandas, who excelled in wall- 
painting, and in delineating children, animals, flowers, and ara- 
besques. The Greeks tinted the background and sometimes the 
bas-reliefs of their sculptures, and even painted their inimitably- 
carved statues, gilding the hair and inserting glass or silver eyes. 

In statuary, both marble and bronze, and in graceful vase- 
painting, the Greeks have never been surpassed. Of arts and 
ornamentation in general, all those which we have seen in use among 
the previous nations were greatly improved by the Greeks, who added 
to other excellencies an exquisite sense of beauty and a power of 
ideal expression jDeculiar to themselves. Besides Phidias, whose 
statues were distinguished for grandeur and sublimity, eminent 
among sculptors were Praxiteles, who excelled in tender grace and 
finish ; Scopas, who delighted in marble allegory ; and Lysippus, a 
worker in bronze, and the master of portraiture.* 


Religion and. Mythology.— Nothing marks more strongly the 
poetic imagination of tlie Greeks than the character of their religious 
worship. They learned their creed in a poem, and told it in marble 
sculpture. To tlieni Nature overflowed with deities. Every grove 
had its presiding genius, every stream and fountain its protecting 
nymph. Earth and air were filled with invisible spirits, and the sky 
was crowded with translated heroes — their own half-divine ancestors. 
Their gods were intense personalities, endowed with human passions 
and instincts, and bound by domestic relations. Such deities appealed 
to the hearts of their worshippers, and the Greeks loved their favorite 
gods with the same fervor bestowed upon their earthly friends. On 
the summit of Mt. Olympus, beyond the impenetrable mists, accord- 
ing to their mythology, the twelve f great gods held council. 

* The master-pieces of Praxiteles were an undraped Venus sold to the people of 
Cnidos, and a satyr or faun, of which the best antique copy is preserved in the 
Capitoline Museum, Kome. This statue suo^gested Hawthorne's charming romance, 
The Marble Faun. The celebrated Nlobe Group in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence, is the 
work of either Praxiteles or Scopas. The latter was one of the artists employed on 
the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus (Appendix). Lysippus and Apelles were favorites 
of Alexander the Great, who would allow only them to carve or paint his image. 

t They were called the Twelve Gods, but the lists vary, increasing the actual 
number. Eoman mythology was founded on Greek, and as the Latin names are now 
in general use they have been interpolated to assist the pupil's association, 

184 GREECE. 

Zeus (Jove or Jupiter) wa^ supreme. He ruled with the thunderbolts, and was 
king over gods and men. His symbols were the eagle and the lightning, both asso- 
ciated with great height. His two brothers, 

Poseidon (Neptune) and Hades (Pluto) held sway respectively over the sea and the 
depths under ground. As god of the sea, Poseidon had tlie dolphin for his symbol ; 
as god over rivers, lakes, and springs, his symbols were the trident and the horse. 
Hades had a helmet which conferred invisibility upon the wearer. It was in much 
demand among the gods, and was his symbol. The shades of Hades, wherein the 
dead were received, were guarded by a three-headed dog, Cerberus. 

Hera (Juno), the haughty wife of Zeus, was Queen of the Skies. Her jealousy 
was the source of much discord in celestial circles. The stars were her eyes. Her 
symbols were the cuckoo and the peacock. 

Demeter (Ceres) was the bestower of bountiful harvests. Her worship was con- 
nected with the peculiarly-sacred Eleusinian mysteries, whose secret rites have never 
been disclosed. Some think that ideas of the unity of God and the immortality of 
the soul were kept alive and handed down by them. Demeter's symbols were ears 
of corn, the pomegranate,' and a car drawn by winged serpents. 

Hestia (Vesta) was goddess of the domestic hearth. At her altar in every house 
were celebrated all important family events, even to the purchase of a new slave, 
or the undertaking of a short journey. The family slaves joined in this dojiestic 
worship, and Hestia's altar was an asylum whither they might flee to escape panish- 
ment, and where the stranger, even an enemy, could find protection. She the 
personification of purity, and her symbol was an altar-flame, 

Heph<Mstos (Vulcan) was the god of volcanic fires and skilled metal-work. Being 
lame and deformed, his parents, Zeus and Hera, threw him out of Olj'mpus, bat his 
genius finally brought about a reconciliation. Mt. Etna was his forge, whenCv.* Pro- 
metheus stole the sacred fire to give to man. His brother. 

Ares (Mars) was god of war. His symbols were the dog and the vulture. 

Athena (Minerva) sprang full-armed from the imperial head of Zeus. She was the 
goddess of wisdom and of celestial wars, and the especial defender of citadels. 
Athena and Poseidon contested on the Athenian Acropolis for the supremacy over 
Attica. The one who gave the greatest boon to man was to win. Poseidcm with his 
trident brought forth a spring of water from the barren rock ; but Athena produced 
an olive-tree, and was declared victor. As a war-goddess she was called Pallas 
Athene. Her symbol was the owl. 

Aphrodite (Venus) was goddess of love and beauty. She arose from the foam of 
the sea. In a contest of personal beauty between Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite, 
Paris decided for Aphrodite. She is often represented with a golden apple in her 
hand, the prize offered by Eris (strife), who originated the dispute. Her symbol was 
the dove. 

Apollon (Apollo), the ideal of manly beauty, was the god of poetry 9,nd song. 
He led the muses, and in this character his symbol was a lyre ; as god of the fierce 
rays of the sun, which was his chariot, his symbol was a bow with arrows. 

Artemis (Diana), twin-sister to Apollo, was goddess of the chase, and protector 
of the water-nymphs. All young girls were under her care. The moon was her 
chariot, and her symbol was a deer, or a bow with arrows. 

Hermes (Mercury ;> was the god of cunning and eloquence. In the former capacity 
he was associated with mists, and accused of thieving. The winged-footed messen- 
ger of the gods, he was also the guide of souls to the realms of Hades, and of heroes 
in difticult expeditions. As god of persuasive speech and success in trade he was 
popular in Athens, where he was worshipped at the street crossings.* His symbol 
was a cock or a ram. 

* The "Hermes" placed at street comers were stone pillars, surmounted by a 
human bead (p. 143). 



Dionysos (Bacehus), god of wine, with his wife Ariadne, ruled the fruit season. 

Hebe was a cup-bearer in Olympus. 

There was a host of minor deities and personifications, often appearing in a 
group of threa, such as the Three Graces, — beautiful women, who represented the 
brightness, color, and perfume of summer; the Three Fates,— stern sisters, upon 
whose spindle was spun the thread of every human life ; the Three Hesperides,— 
daughters of Atlas (upon whose shoulders the sky rested), in whose western garden 
golden apples grew ; the Three Harpies,— mischievous meddlers, who personated the 
effects of violent winds ; Three Gorgons, whose terrible faces turned to stone all 
who beheld them ; and Three Furies, whose mission was to pursue criminals. 

There were Nine Muses, daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne (Memory), who dwelt 
on Mt. Parnassus, and held all gifts of inspiration : Clio presided over History ; 
Melpomene, tragedy; Thalia, comedy ; Calliope, epic poetry; Urania, astronomy; 
Euterpe, music ; Polyhymnia, song and oratory; Erato, love-songs ; and Terpsichore, 


Divination of all kinds was universal. Upon signs, dreams, and 
portents depended all the weighty decisions of life. Birds, especially 
crows and ravens, were watched as direct messengers from the gods, 
and so much meaning was attached to their voices, habits, manner of 
flight and mode of alighting, that even in Homer's time the word bird 
was synonymous with omen. The omens obtained by sacrifices were 
still more anxiously regarded. Upon the motions of the flame, the 
appearance of the ashes and, above all, the shape and aspect of the 
victim's liver, hung such momentous human interests that, as at 
Plataea, a great army was sometimes kept waiting for days till success 
should be assured through a sacrificial calf or chicken. 

Oracles. — The temples of Zens at Dodona and of Apollo at Delphi 
were the oldest and most venerated prophetic shrines. At Dodona 
three priestesses presided, to whom the gods spoke in the rustling 

186 GREECE. 

leaves of a sacred oak, and the murmurs of a holy rill. But the 
favorite oracular god was Apollo, who, besides the Pythian temple at 
Delphi, had shrines in various parts of the land* 1'he Greeks had 
implicit faith in the Oracles, and consulted them for every important 

Priests and Priestesses shared in the reverence paid to the gods. 
Their temple duties were mainly prayer and sacrifice. They were 
given the place of honor in the public festivities, and were supported 
by the temple revenues. 

Grecian religion included in its observances nearly the whole range 
of social pleasures. Worship consisted of songs and dances, proces- 
sions, libations, festivals, dramatic and athletic contests, and various 
sacrifices and purifications. The people generally were content with 
their gods and time-honored mythology, and left all diflficult moral and 
religious problems to be settled by the philosophers and the serious- 
minded minority who followed them. 

Religious Games and Festivals. — The Olympian Games were held 
once in four years in honor of Zeus, at Olympia. Here the Greeks 
gathered from all parts of the country, protected by a safe transit 
through hostile Hellenic states. The commencement of the Festival 
month having been formally announced by heralds sent to every state, 
a solemn truce suppressed all quarrels until its close. The competitive 
exercises consisted of running, leaping, wrestling, boxing, and chariot- 
racing. The prize was a wreath from the sacred olive-tree in Olympia. 
The celebration, at first confined to one day, came in time to last 
five days. Booths were scattered about the Altis (p. 181), where a gay 
traflfic was carried on ; while in the spacious council-room the ardent 
Greeks crowded to hear the newest works of poets, philosophers, and 
historians. All this excitement and enthusiasm were heightened by 
the belief that the pleasure enjoyed was an act of true religious worship. 
The Pythian Games, sacred to Apollo, occurred near Delphi, in the 
third year of each Olympiad, and in national dignity ranked next to 
the Olympic. The prize-wreath was laurel. The Nemean and. the 
Isthmian Games, sacred respectively to Zeus and Poseidon, were held 
once in two years, and like the Pythian had prizes for music and 
poetry, as well as gymnastics, chariots, and horses. The Nemean 

* A volcanic site, having a fissure through which gas escaped, was usually selected. 
The Delphian priestess, having spent three days in fasting and bathing, seated herself 
on a tripod over the chasm, where, under the real or imaginary effect of the vapors, 
she uttered her prophecies. Her ravings were recorded by the attending prophet, 
and afterward turned into hexameter verse by poets hired for the purpose. The 
shrewd priests, through their secret agents, kept well posted on all matters likely to 
be urged, and when their knowledge failed, as in predictions for the future, made the 
responses so ambiguous or tmiutelligible that they would seem to be verified by any 


crown was of parsley, the Isthmian of pine. Sparta took interest 
only in the Olympic Games, with which she had been connected from 
their beginning, and which, it is curious to note, were the only ones 
having no intellectual competition. Otherwise, Sparta had her own 
festivals from which strangers were excluded. 

The Panathenaia,^ which took place once in four years at Athens, 
in honor of the patron goddess, consisted of similar exercises, termi- 
nating in a grand procession in which the whole Athenian population 
took part. Citizens in full military equipment ; the victorious con- 
testants with splendid chariots and horses ; priests and attendants 
leading the sacrificial victims ; dignified elders bearing olive-boughs ; 
young men with valuable, artistic plate ; and maidens, the purest 
and most beautiful in Athens, with baskets of holy utensils on their 
heads, — all contributed to the magnificent display. Matrons from the 
neighboring tribes carried oak-branches, while their daughters bore 
the chairs and sunshades of the Athenian maidens. In the center of 
the procession was a ship resting on wheels, having for a sail a richly- 
embroidered mantle or peplos, portraying the victories of Zeus and 
Athena, wn-ought and woven by Attic maidens. The procession having 
gone through all the principal streets round to the Acropolis, marched 
up through its magnificent Propyl ea, past the majestic Parthenon, and 
at last reached the Erechtheium, or Temple of Athena Polias (p. 194). 
Here all arras were laid aside, and, amid the blaze of burnt-offerings 
and the ringing paeans of praise, the votive gifts were placed in the 
sanctuary of the goddess. 

The Feast of Dionysos was celebrated twice during the spring 
season, the chief festival continuing for eight days. At this time 
those tragedies and comedies which had been selected by the archon — 
to whom all plays were first submitted — were brought out in the 
Dionysiac theatre f at Athens, in competition for prizes. 

* The Panathenaic Procession formed the subject of the sculpture on the frieze 
around the Parthenon Cella, in which stood the goddess sculptured by Phidias. Most 
of this frieze, much mutilated, is with the Elgin Marbles. 

t This theatre was built on the sloping side of the Acropolis, and consisted of a 
vast number of semicircular rows of seats cut out of the solid rock, accommodating 
thirty thousand persons. The front row, composed of white marble arm-chairs, 
was occupied by the priests, the judges, aud the archons, each chair being 
engraved with the name of its occupant. Between the audience and the stage was 
the orchestra or place for the chorus, in the center of which stood the altar of 
Dionysos. Movable stairs led from the orchestra up to the stage, as the course of 
the drama frequently required the conjunction of the chorus with the actors. The 
stage itself extended the whole width of the theatre, but was quite narrow, except 
at the center, where the representation took place. It was supported by a white 
marble wall, handsomely carved. There was a variety of machinery for change of 
sceiies and for producing startling effects, such as the rolling of thunder, the descent 
of gods from heaven, the rising of ghosts and demons from below, etc. The theatre 

188 GREECE. 

Each tribe furnished a chorus of dancers and musicians, and chose 
a choragus, whose business was not only to superintend the training 
and costumes of the performers, but also to bear all the expense of 
bringing out the play assigned to him. The office was one of high 
dignity, and immense sums were spent by the choragi in their efforts 
to eclipse each other ; the one adjudged to have given the best enter- 
tainment received a tripod, which was formally consecrated in the 
temples and placed upon its own properly-inscribed monument in the 
Street of Tripods, near the theatre. 

The Actors^ to increase their size and enable them the better to per- 
sonate the gods and heroes of Greek tragedy, wore highsoled shoes, 
padded garments, and great masks which completely enveloped their 
heads, leaving only small apertures for the mouth and eyes. As their 
stilts and stage-attire impeded any free movements, their acting con- 
sisted of little more than a series of tableaux and recitations, while 
the stately musical apostrophes and narrations of the chorus filled 
up the gaps and supplied those parts of the story not acted on the 

The performance began early in the morning and lasted all day, 
eating and drinking being allowed in the theatre. The price of seats 
varied according to location, but the poorer classes were supplied free 
tickets by the government, so that no one was shut out by poverty 
from enjoying this peculiar worship. f Each play generally occupied 
from one and a half to two hoars. The audience was exceedingly 
demonstrative ; an unpopular actor could not deceive himself ; his 
voice was drowned in an uproar of whistling, clucking, and hissing, 

was open to the sky, but an awning might be drawn to shut out the direct rays of 
the sun, while little jets of perfumed water cooled and refreshed the air. To aid the 
vast assembly in hearing, brazen bell-shaped vases were placed in different parts of 
the theatre. 

* In comedy, the actors themselves often took the audience into their confidence, 
explaining the situation to them somewhat after the manner of the commenting 
" sisters, cousins and aunts," during Buttercup's confession in the Pinafore. 

t Tragedy, which dealt with the national gods and heroes, was to the Greeks a 
veritably religious exercise, strengthening their faith, and quickening their sympathies 
for the woes of their beloved and fate-driven deities. When, as in rare instances, 
a subject was taken from contemporaneous history, no representation which would 
pain the audience was allowed, and on one occasion a poet was heavily fined for 
presenting a play which touched upon a recent Athenian defeat. Some great public 
lesson was usually hidden in the comedies, where the fashionable follies were merci- 
lessly satirized, and many a useful hint took root in the hearts of the people when 
given from the stage, that would have fallen dead or unnoticed if put forth in the 
assembly. " Quick of thought and utterance, of hearing and apprehension, living 
together in open public intercourse, reading would have been to the Athenians a slow 
process for the interchange of ideas. But the many thousands of auditors in the 
Greek theatre caught, as with an electric flash of intelligence, the noble thought, the 
withering sarcasm, the flash of wit, and the covert innuendo."— P^i/i/; Smith. 



and he might esteem himself happy if he escaped from the boards 
without an actual beating. The favorite, whether on the stage or as 
a spectator, was as enthusiastically applauded* In comedies, tumult 
was invited, and the people were urged to shout and laugh, the comic 
poet sometimes throwing nuts and figs to them, that their scrambling 
and screaming might add to the evidences of a complete success. 


Marriage. — Athenians could legally marry only among themselves. 
The ceremony did not require a priestly official, but was preceded by 
offerings , to Zeus, Hera, Artemis, and other gods who presided over 
marriage.f Omens were carefully observed, and a bath in water from 
the sacred fountain, Kallirrhoe, was an indispensable preparation. On 
the evening of the wedding-day, after a merry dinner given at her 

* At the Olympian games when Themistocles entered, it is related that the whole 
assembly rose to honor him. 

t In Homer's time the groom paid to the lady's father a certain sum for his bride. 
Afterward this custom was re\'ersed, and the amount of the wife's dowry greatly 
affected her position as a, married woman. At the formal betrothal preceding every 
marriage this important question was settled, and in case of separation the dowry 
was usually returned to the wife's parents. 

190 GREECE. 

father's house, the closely-veiled bride was seated in a chariot between 
her husband and his "best man," all dressed in festive robes and 
garlanded with flowers. Her mother kindled the nuptial torch at the 
domestic hearth, a procession of friends and attendants was formed, 
and, amid the joyful strains of the marriage-song, the whistling of 
flutes, and the blinking of torches, the happy pair were escorted to 
their future home. Here they were saluted with a shower of sweet- 
meats, after which followed the nuptial banquet. At this feast, by 
privilege, the women were allowed to be present, though they sat at a 
separate table, and the bride continued veiled. The third day after 
marriage the veil was cast aside, and wedding-presents were received. 
The parties most concerned in marriage were seldom consulted, and it 
was not uncommon for a widow to find herself bequeathed by her 
deceased husband's will to one of his friends or relatives. 

Death and Burial. — As a portal festooned with flowers an- 
nounced a wedding, so a vessel of water placed before a door gave 
notice of a death within.* As soon as a Greek died, an obolus was 
inserted in his mouth to pay his fare on the boat across the River 
Styx to Hades. His body was then washed, anointed, dressed in 
white, garlanded with flowers, and placed on a conch with the feet 
toward the outer door. A formal lament f followed, made by the female 
friends and relatives, assisted by hired mourners. On the third day 
the body was carried to the spot where it was to be buried or burned. 
It was preceded by a hired chorus of musicians and the male mourners, 
who, dressed in black or gray, had their hair closely cut.:}: The female 
mourners walked behind the bier. If the body was burned, sacrifices 
were offered ; then, after all was consumed, the fire was extinguished 
with wine, and the ashes, sprinkled with oil and wine, were collected 
in a clay or bronze cinerary. Various articles were stored with the 
dead, such as mirrors, trinkets, and elegantly-painted vases. The 
burial was followed by a feast, which was considered as given by the 
deceased (compare p. 42). Sacrifices of milk, honey, wine, olives, and 

* The water was always brought from some other dwelling and was used for the 
purification of visitors, as everything within the house of mourning was polluted by 
the preseiice of the dead. 

t Solon sought to restrain these ostentatious excesses by enacting that, except 
the nearest relatives, no women under sixty years of age should enter a house of 
mourning. In the heroic days of Greece the lament lasted several days (that of 
Achilles continued seventeen), but in later times an early burial was thought pleasmg 
to the dead. The funeral pomp, which afterward became a common custom, was 
originally reserved for heroes alone. In the earlier Attic burials the grave was dug 
by the nearest relatives, and afterward sown with corn that the body might be recom- 
pensed for its own decay. 

$ When a great general died, the hair and manes of all the army horses were 



flowers were periodically offered at the grave, where slaves kept watch. 
Sometimes a regular banquet was served, and a blood sacrifice offered 
by the side of the tomb. The dead person was supposed to be con- 
scious of all these attentions, and to be displeased when an enemy 
approached his ashes. Malefactors, traitors, and people struck by 
lightning* were denied burial, which in Greece, as in Egypt, was the 
highest possible dishonor. 


"Weapons of War and Defence.— The Greeks fought with 
long spears, swords, clubs, battle-axes, bows, and slings. In the 
heroic age, chariots were employed, and the Avarrior, standing by the 
side of the charioteer, was driven to the front, where he engaged in 
single combat. Afterward the chariot was used only in races. A 
soldier in full armor wore a leather or metal helmet, covering his head 
and face ; a cuirass made of iron plates, or a leather coat of mail over- 
laid with iron scales ; bronze greaves, reaching from above the knee 

* Such a death was supposed to be a direct punishment from the gods for some 
great offence or hidden depravity. 

192 GREECE. 

down to the ankle ; and a shield * made of ox-hides, covered with 
metal, and sometimes extending from head to foot. Thus equipped 
they advanced slowly and steadily into action in a uniform phalanx of 
about eight spears deep, the warriors of each tribe arrayed together, 
so that individual or sectional bravery was easily distinguished. The 
light infantry wore no armor, but sometimes carried a shield of willow 
twigs, covered with leather. In Homer's time, bows, six feet long, 
were made of the horns of the antelope. Cavalry horses were pro- 
tected by armor, and the rider sat upon a saddle-cloth, a luxury not 
indulged in on ordinary occasions. Stirrups and horseshoes were un- 
known. The ships of Greece, like those of Phoenicia and Carthage, 
were flat-bottomed barges or galleys, mainly propelled by oars. The 
oarsmen sat in rows or banks, one above the other, the number of 
banks determining the name of the vessel. f Bows and arrows, jav- 
elins, ballistas, and catapults were the offensive weapons used at a 
distance, but the main tactics consisted in running the sharp iron prow 
of the attacking vessel against the enemy's broadside to sink it, or 
else, steering alongside, boarding the enemy and making a hand-to- 
hand fight. 


Retrospect. — We will suppose it to be about the close of the 
fifth century B. c, with the Peloponnesian War just ended. The world 
is two thousand years older than when we watched the building of the 
great pyramid at Gizeh, and fifteen centuries have passed since the 
Labyrinth began to show its marble colonnades. Those times are even 
now remote antiquities, and fifty years ago Herodotus delighted the 
wondering Greeks with his description of the ancient ruins in the 
Fayoom. It is nearly two hundred and fifty years since Asshur-bani- 
pal sat on the throne of tottering Nineveh, and one hundred and fifty 
since the fall of Babylon. Let us now visit Sparta. 

Scene I. — A Day in Sparta. — A hilly, un walled city on a riyer 
bank, with mountains in the distance. A great square or forum 
(Agora) with a few modest temples, statues, and porticoes. On the 
highest hill (Acropolis), in the midst of a grove, more temples and 

* Thege shields were sometimes richly decorated with emblems and inscriptions. 
Thus ^schylus, in The ^ven Chiefs against Thebes^ describes one warrior's shield 
as bearing a flaming torch, with the motto, "I will burn the city"; and another as 
having an armed man climbing a scaling-ladder, and for an inscription, " Not Mars 
himself shall beat me from the towers." 

t A ship with three banks of oars was called a trireme ; with four, a quadrireme, 
etc. In the times of the Ptolemies galleys of twelve, fifteen, twenty, and even forty 
banks of oars were built. The precise arrangement of the oarsmen in these large 
ships is not known. (See cut, p. 158.) 


statues, among them a brass statue of Zeus, the most ancient in Greece. 
In the suburbs the hippodrome, for foot and horse races, and the 
plataiiistce — a grove of beautiful palm-trees, partly enclosed by run- 
ning streams — where the Spartan youth gather for athletic sports. A 
scattered city, its small, mean houses grouped here and there ; its 
streets narrow and dirty. This is Sparta. 

If we wish to enter a house, we have simply to announce ourselves 
in a loud voice, and a slave will admit us. We shall hear no cry of 
puny infants within ; the little boys, none of them over seven years 
old (p. 179), are strong and sturdy, and the girls are few ; their weak 
or deformed brothers and surplus sisters have been cast out in their 
babyhood to perish, or to become the slaves of whoever should rescue 
them. The mother is here ; a brawny, strong-minded, strong-fisted 
woman, whose chief pride is that she can fell an enemy with one 
blow. Her dress consists of two garments, a chiton,* and over it a 
peplos or short cloak, which clasps above the shoulders, leaving the 
arms bare. She appears in public when she pleases, and may even 
give her opinion on matters of state. When her husband or sons go 
forth to battle she sheds no sentimental tears, but hands to each his 
shield, with the proud injunction, "Return with it, or upon it." No 
cowards, whatever their excuses, find favor with her. When the blind 
Eurytus was led by his slave into the foremost rank at ThermopylaD, 
she thought of him as having simply performed his duty ; when 
Aristodemus made his blindness an excuse for staying away, she re- 
viled his cowardice ; and though he afterward died the most heroic of 
deaths at Plataea, it counted him nothing. She educates her daughters 
to the same unflinching defiance of womanly tenderness. They are 
trained in the Palaestra or wrestling-school till they can run, wrestle, 
and fight as well as their brothers. They wear but one garment, a 
short sleeveless chiton, open upon one side, and often not reaching to 
the knee. The Spartan gentleman, who sees little of his family, is 
debarred by law from trade or agriculture, and, having no taste for art 
or literature, spends his time, when not in actual warfare, in daily 
military drill, and in governing his helots. He never appears in public 
without his attendant slaves, but prudence compels him to walk be- 
hind rather than before them. In the street his dress is a short, coarse 
cloak, with or without a chiton ; perhaps a pair of thong-strapped 
sandals, a cane, and a seal-ring. He usually goes bare-headed, but 
when traveling in the hot sun wears a broad-brimmed hat or bonnet. 
His ideal character is one of relentless energy and brute force, and his 

* The Doric chiton was a simple woolen shift, consisting of two short pieces of 
cloth, sewed or clasped together on one or both sides up to the breast ; the parts 
covering the breast and back were fastened over each shoulder, leaving the open 
spaces at the side for arm-holes. It was confined about the waist with a girdle. 

194 GREECE. 

standard of excellence is a successful defiance of all pain, and an 
ability to conquer in every fight. 

Scene II. — A Day in Athens (4tli century b. c.).— To see Athens 
is, first of all, to admire the j\propolis. A high, steep, rocky, but 
broad-crested hill, sloping toward the city and the distant sea ; ascended 
by a marble road for chariots, and marble steps for pedestrians ; entered 
through a magnificent gateway (the Propylaea) ; and crowned on its 
spacious summit — one hundred and fifty feet above the level at its 
base — with a grove of stately temples, statues,* and altars. 

Standing on the Acropolis, on a bright morning about the year 300 
B. c, a magnificent view opens on every side. Away to the southwest 
for four miles stretch the Long Walls, five hundred and fifty feet apart, 
leading to the Piraean harbor ; beyond them the sea, dotted with sails, 
glistens in the early sun. Between us and the harbors lie the porticoed 
and templed Agora, bustling with the morning commerce ; the Pnyx,f 
with its stone bema, from which Demosthenes sixty or more years ago 
essayed his first speech amid hisses and laughter ; the Areopagus, 
where from time immemorial the learned court of archons has held 
its sittings ; the hill of the Museum, crowned by a fortress ; the tem- 
ples of Hercules, Demeter, and Artemis ; the Gymnasium of Hermes ; 
and, near the Piraean gate, a little grove of statues, — among them one 
of Socrates, who drank the hemlock and went to sleep a hundred 
years ago. At our feet, circling about the hill, are amphitheatres for 
musical and dramatic festivals, elegant temples and colonnades, and 
the famous Street of Tripods, more beautiful than ever since the recent 
erection of the monument of the choragus Lysicrates. Turning toward 
the East we see the Lyceum, where Aristotle walked and talked 
within the last half century ; and the Cynosarges, where Antisthenes, 
the father of the Cynics, had his school. Still fuither to the north 
rises the white top of Mt. Lycabettus, beyond which is the plain of 
Marathon ; and on the south the green and flowery ascent of Mt. 
Hymettus, swarming with bees, and equally famous for its honey and 

* Towering over all the other statues was the bronze Athena Promachus, by 
Phidias, cast out of spoils won at Marathon. It was sixty feet high, and represented 
the goddess with her spear and shield in the attitude of a combatant. The remains 
of the Erechiheiym, a beautiful and peculiar temple sacred to two deities, stood near 
the Parthenon. It had been burned during the invasion of Xerxes, but was in process 
of restoration when the Peloponnesian War broke out. Part of it was dedicated to 
Athena Polias, whose olive-wood statue within its walls was reputed to have fallen 
from heaven. It was also said to contain the sacred olive-tree brought forth by 
Athena, the spring of water which followed the stroke of Poseidon's trident, and 
even the impression of the trident itself ! 

t The two hills, the Pnyx and the Areopagus, were famous localities. Upon the 
former the assemblies of the people were held. The stone pulpit {bema), from which 
the orators d«claimed, and traces of the leveled arena where the people gathered to 
listen, are still seen on the Pnyx. 



its marble. Througli the city, to the southeast, flows the river Ilissus, 
sacred to the Muses. As we look about us we are struck by the ab- 
sence of spires or pinnacles. There are no hig:h towers as in Babylon ; 
no lofty obelisks as on the banks of the Nile ; and, on the tiled roofs, 
all flat or slightly gabled, we detect many a favorite promenade. 


A Greek Home. — The Athenian gentleman usually arises at dawn, 
and after a slight repast of bread and wine goes out with his slaves * 
for a walk or ride, previous to his customary daily lounge in the market- 
place. While he is absent, if we are ladies we may visit the house- 
hold. We are quite sure to find the mistress at home, for, especially 
if she be young, she never ventures outside her dwelling without her 
husband's permission ; nor does she receive within it any but her lady- 
friends and nearest male relatives. The exterior of the house is very 
plain. Built of common stone, brick, or wood, and coated with plaster, 
it abuts so closely upon the street that if the door has been made to 
open outward (a tax is paid for the privilege) the comer-out is obliged 
to knock before opening it, in order to warn the passers-by. The dead- 
wall before us has no lower windows, but a strong door furnished with 

* No gentleman in Athens went out unless he was accompanied by his servants. 
To be unattended by at least one slave w^s a sign of extreme indigence, and no more 
to be thought of than to be seen without a cane, which was also indispensable. "A 
gentleman found going about without a walking-stick was presumed by the police to 
be disorderly, and was imprisoned for the night." 

196 GEEECE. 

knocker and handle, and beside it a Hermes (p. 144) or an altar to 
Apollo. Over the door, as in Egypt, is an inscription, here reading, 
" To the good genius," followed by the name of the owner. In re- 
sponse to our knock, the porter, who is always in attendance, opens the 
door. Carefully placing our right foot on the threshold — it would be 
an unlucky omen to touch it with the left — we pass through a long 
corridor to a large court open to the sky, and surrounded by arcades or 
porticoes. This is the peristyle of the androidtis, or apartments be- 
longing to the master of the house. Around the peristyle lie the ban- 
queting, music, sitting and sleeping rooms, the picture galleries and 
libraries. A second corridor, opening opposite the first, leads to another 
porticoed court, with rooms about and behind it. This is the gynm- 
cordtis, the domain of the mistress. Here the daughters and hand- 
maidens always remain, occupied with their woolcarding, spinning, 
weaving, and embroidery, and hither the mother retires when her 
husband entertains guests in the andronitis. The floors are plastered 
and tastefully painted,* the walls are frescoed, and 
the cornices and ceilings are ornamented with 
stucco. The rooms are warmed from fire-places, 
or braziers of hot coke or charcoal ; they are lighted 
mostly from doors opening upon the porticoes. In 
the first court is an altar to Zeus, and in the second 
the never-forgotten one to Hestia. The furniture 
is simple, but remarkable for elegance of design. 
Along the walls are seats or sofas covered with 
AN ANCIENT BRAZIER, sklus or purple carpets, and heaped with cushions. 
There are also light folding-stools f and richly- 
carved armchairs, and scattered about the rooms are tripods, support- 
ing exquisitely-painted vases. In the bedrooms of this luxurious 
home are couches of fcevery degree of magnificence, made of olive-wood 
inlaid with gold and ivory or veneered with tortoise-shell, or of 
ivory richly embossed, or even of solid silver. On these are laid 
mattresses of sponge, feathers, or plucked wool; and over them soft, 
gorgeously-colored blankets, or a coverlet made of peacock skins, 
dressed with the feathers on, if and perfumed with imported essences. 

* In later times flagging and mosaics were used. Before the 4th century b. c. the 
plaster-walls were simply whitewashed. 

t The four-legged, hackless stool was called a diphros ; when an Athenian gentle- 
man walked out, one of his slaves generally carried a diphros for the convenience of 
his master when wearied. To the diphros a curved back was sometimes added, and 
the legs made immovable. It was then called a klismos. A high, large chair, with 
straight back and low arms, was a thronos. The thronoi in the temples were for the 
gods ; those in dwellings, for the master and his guests. A footstool was indispens- 
able, and was sometimes attached to the front legs of the thronos. 

X " One of the greatest improvements introduced by the Greeks into the art of 


The mistress of the house, who is superintending the domestic labor, 
is dressed in a long chiton, doubled over at the top so as to form a kind 
of cape which hangs down loosely, clasped on the shoulders, girdled 
at the waist, and falling in many folds to her feet. When she ventures 
abroad, as she occasionally does to the funeral of a near relation, to 
the great religious festivals, and sometimes to hear a tragedy, she 
wears a cloak or himation.* The Athenian wife has not the privileges 
of the Spartan. The husband and father is the complete master of his 
household, and, so far from allowing his wife to transact any inde- 
pendent bargains, he "may be legally absolved from any contract her 
request or counsel has induced him to make. — This is a busy morning 
in the home, for the master has gone to the market-place to invite a 
few friends to an evening banquet. The foreign cooks, hired for the 
occasion, are already here, giving orders, and preparing choice dishes. 
At noon, all business in the market-place having ceased, the Athenian 
gentleman returns to his home for his midday meal and his siesta, f 
As the cooler hours come on, he repairs to the crowded Gymnasium, 
where he may enjoy the pleasures of the bath, listen to the learned 
lectures 'of philosophers and rhetoricians, or join in the racing, mili- 
tary, and gymnastic exercises. % Toward sunset he again seeks his 
home to await his invited guests. 

The Banquet. — As each guest arrives, a slave § meets him in the 
court, and ushers him into the large triclinium or dining-room, where 
his^ host warmly greets him, and assigns to him a section of a couch. 
Before he reclines, | however, a slave unlooses his sandals and washes 

sleeping was the practice of undressing before going to bed— a thing unheard of until 
hit upon by their inventive g&,'"—Felton. 

* The dress of both sexes was nearly the same. The himation was a large, square 
piece of cloth, so wrapped about the form as to leave only the 'right arm free. Much 
skill was required to drape it artistically, and the taste and elegance of the wearer 
were decided by his manner of carrying it. The same himation often served for both 
husband and wife, and it is related as among the unamiable traits of Xantippe, the 
shrewish wife of Socrates, that she refused to go out in her husband's himation. A 
gentleman usually wore a chiton also, though he was considered fully dressed in the 
himation alone. The lov/er classes wore only the chiton, or were clothed in tanned 
skins. Raiment was cheap in Greece. In the time of Socrates a chiton cost about a 
dollar, and an ordinary himation, two dollars. 

t The poorer classes gathered together in groups along the porticoes for gossip 
or slumber, where indeed they not unfrequently spent their nights. 

% Ball-playine, which was a favorite game with the Greeks, was taught scien- 
tifically in the gymnasium. The balls were made of colored leather, stuffed with 
feathers, wool, or fig-seeds, or, if very large, were hollow. Cock-and-quail fighting 
was another exciting amusement, and, at Athens, took place annually by law, as an 
instructive exhibition of bravery. 

§ A guest frequently brought his own slave to assist in personal attendance upon 

1 The mode of reclining, which was similar to that in Assyria, is shown in the 




his feet in perfumed wine. The time having arrived for dinner, water 
is passed around for hand ablutions, and small, low tables are brought 
in, one being placed before each couch. There are no knives and forks, 
no table-cloths or napkins. Some of the guests wear gloves to enable 
them to take the food quite hot, others have hardened their fingers by 
handling hot pokers, and one, a noted gourmand, has prepared him- 
self with metallic finger-guards. The slaves now hasten with the first 
course, which opens with sweetmeats, and includes many delicacies. 

cut, the place of honor being next the host. The Greek wife and daughter never 
appeared at these banquets, and at their every-day meals the wife sat on the couch 
at the feet of her master. The sons were not permitted to recline till they were 
of age. 


such as thrushes, hares, oysters, pungent herbs, and, best of all, 
Copaic eels, cooked crisp and brown, and wrapped in beet leaves.* 
Bread is handed around in tiny baskets, woven of slips of ivory. Little 
talking is done, for it is good breeding to remain quiet until the sub- 
stantial viands are honored. From time to time the guests wipe their 
fingers upon bits of bread, throwing the fragments under the table. 
This course being finished, the well-trained slaves sponge or remove 
the tables, brush up the dough, bones, and other remnants from the 
floor, and pass again the jierfumed water for hand- washing. Garlands 
of myrtle and roses, gay ribbons, and sweet-scented ointments are 
distributed, a golden bowl of wine is brought, and the meal closes 
with a libation. 

The Symposium is introduced by a second libation, accompanied by 
hymns and the solemn notes of a flute. The party, hitherto silent, 
rapidly grow merry, while the slaves bring in the dessert and the wine, 
which now for the first time appears at the feast. The dessert con- 
sists of fresh fruits, olives well ripened on the tree, dried figs, imported 
dates, curdled cream, honey, cheese, and the salt-sprinkled cakes for 
which Athens is renowned. A large crater or wine- bowl, ornamented 
with groups of dancing bacchanals, is placed before one of the 
guests, who has been chosen archon. He is to decide upon the proper 
mixture of the wine,f the nature of the forfeits in the games of the 
evening, and, in fact, is henceforth king of the feast. The sport be- 
gins with riddles. This is a favorite pastime ; every failure in guessing 
requires a forfeit, and the penalty is to drink a certain quantity of 
wine. Music, charades, dancing and juggling performed by profes- 
sionals, and a variety of entertainments, help the hours to fly, and 
the Symposium ends at last by the whole party inviting them- 
selves to some other banqueting-place, where they spend the night 
in revel. | 

* The Greeks were extravagantly fond of fish. Pork, the abhorred of the Egyp- 
tians, was their favorite meat. Bread, more than anything else, was the " staff of 
life," all other food, except sweetmeats— even meat— being called relish. Sweetmeats 
weresuperstitiously regarded, and scattering them.about the house was an invitation 
to good luck. 

t To drink wine clear was disreputable, and it was generally diluted with two- 
thirds water. 

X The fashionable Symposia were usually of the character described above, but 
sometimes they were more intellectual, affording an occasion for the brilliant display 
of Attic wit and learning. The drinking character of the party was always the 
same, and in Plato's Dialogue, The Symposium, in which Aristophanes, Socrates, and 
other literary celebrities took part, the evening is broken in upon by two different 
bands of revelers, and daj'light finds Socrates and Aristophanes still drinking 
with the host. "Parasites (a recognized class of people, who lived by sponging 
their dinners) and mountebanks always took the liberty to drop in wherever there 
was a feast, a fact which they ascertained by walking through the streets and snufllng 
at the kitchens."— jF'c^^on. 



1. Political History. — The Pelasgians were the primitive in- 
habitants of Greece. In time the Hellenes descend from the north, 
and give their name to the land. It is the Heroic Age, the era of the 
sons of the gods — Hercules, Theseus, and Jason — of the Argonautic 
Expedition and the Siege of Troy. With, the Dorian Migration 
("Return of the Heraclidse") and their settlement in the Pelopon- 
nesus, the mythic stories end and real history begins. The kings 
disappear, and nearly all the cities become little republics. Hellenic 
colonies arise in Asia Minor, rivaling the glory of Greece itself. Ly- 
curgus now enacts his cruel laws (850 B. c). In the succeeding cen- 
turies the Spartans— pitiless, fearless, haughty warriors — conquer 
Messenia, become the head of the Peloponnesus, and threaten all 
Greece. Meanwhile Athens, spite of Draconian laws, the curse of the 
Alcmaeonidse, the factions of the men of the plain, the coast, and the 
mountain, and the tyranny of the Pisistratidae, by the wise measures 
of Solon and Cleisthenes becomes a powerful republic. 

Athens now sends help to the Greeks of Asia Minor against the 
Persians, and the Asiatic deluge is precipitated upon Greece. Miltiades 
defeats Darius on the field of Marathon (490 b. c). Ten years later 
Xerxes forces the pass of Thermopylae, slays Leonidas and his three 
hundred Spartans, and burns Athens ; but his fleet is put to flight at 
Salamis, the next year his army is routed by Themistocles at Platsea, 
and his remaining ships are destroyed at Mycale. Thus Europe is 
saved from Persian despotism. 

The Age of Pericles follows, and Athens, grown to be a great 
commercial city — its streets thronged with traders and its harbor with 
ships — is the head of Greece. Sparta is jealous, and the Peloponnesian 
War breaks out in 431 b. c. Its twenty-seven years of alternate vic- 
tories and defeats end in the fatal expedition to Syracuse, the defeat 
of .^gos Potamos and the fall of Athens. 

Sparta is now supreme ; but her cruel rule is broken by Epaminon- 
das on the field of Leuctra. Thebes comes to the front, but Greece, 
rent by rivalries, is overwhelmed by Philip of Macedon in the battle 
of Chseronea. The conqueror dying soon after, his greater son, 
Alexander, leads the armies of united Greece into Asia. The battles 
of Granicus, Issus, and Arbela subdue the Persian empire. Thence 
the conquering leader marches eastward to the Indus, and returns to 
Babylon only to die (323 b. c). His generals divide his empire among 
themselves ; while Greece, a prey to dissensions, at last drops into the 
^11-absorbjng Roman empire (146 b. c). 


2. Civilization. — Athens and Sparta differ widely in thought, 
habits, and taste. The Spartans care little for art and literature, and 
glory only in war and patriotism. They are rigid in their selfdis 
cipline, and cruel to their slaves. They smother all tender home sen- 
timent, eat at the public mess, give their seven-years-old boys to the 
state, and train their girls in the rough sports of the palaestra. They 
distrust and exclude strangers, and make no effort to adorn their 
capital with art or architecture. 

The Athenians adore art, beauty, and intellect. Versatile and 
brilliant, they are fond of novelties and eager for discussions. Law 
courts abound, and the masses imbibe an education in the theatre, 
along the busy streets, and on the Pnyx. In their democratic city, 
filled with magnificent temples, statues, and colonnades, wit and talent 
are the keys that unlock the doors of every saloon. Athens becomes 
the center of the world's history in all that pertains to the fine arts. 
Poetry and philosophy flourish alike in her classic atmosphere, and all 
the provinces feel the pulse of her artistic heart. 

Grecian art and literature furnish models for all time. Infant 
Greece produces Homer and Hesiod, the patriarchs of epic poetry. 
Coming down the centuries she brings out in song, and hymn, and ode, 
Sappho, Simonides, and Pindar ; in tragedy, -^schylus, Sophocles, 
and Euripedes ; in comed3% Aristophanes and Menander ; in history, 
Herodotus, Thucydides, and Xenophon ; in oratory, Pericles and 
Demosthenes ; in philosophy, Thales, Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato, and 
Aristotle ; in painting, Apelles ; in sculpture, Phidias, Praxiteles, and 

Greek mythology invests every stream, grove, and mountain with 
gods and goddesses, nymphs, and naiads. The beloved deities are 
worshipped with songs and dances, dramas and festivals, spirited 
contests and gorgeous processions. The Four Great National Games 
unite all Greece in a sacred bond. The Feasts of Dionysos give birth 
to the drama. The Four Great Schools of Philosophy flourish and 
decay, leaving their impress upon the generations to come. Finally, 
Grecian civilization is transported to the Tiber, and becomes blended 
with the national peculiarities of the conquering Romans. 


GroWs History of Greece.— Arnold's History of Greece — Curtim''s History */ 
Greece.— FeltorCs Ancient and Modem Greece.—Hlsiory Primers ; Greece, and Greek 
Antiquities, edited by Green.— Smith's Student's History of Greece.— Becker's Chari- 
des.—Gvhl and Koner's Life of the Greeks and Romans— Bryce's History of Greece, 
in Freeman's Series.— Freeman's General Sketch of European History.— (Jollier's 
History of Greece.— Heeren's Historical Researches.— Putz s Hand-book of Ancient 
History.— Bulxoer's Rise and Fall of Athens, -Williams's Life of Alexander the 



Great.— ThirwaWs History of Greece.— Niebuhr'' s Lectures on Ancient History.— 
Xenophon's Anabasis, Memorabilia, and Cycropoedia.—St. John's The Hellenes ; 
Manners and Customs of Ancient Greece.— Fergusson's History of Architecture.— 
Stuart" s Antiquities of Athens.— Mahaffy's History of Greek Literature.— Quackenbos' 8 
Ancient Literature. 



Dorian Migration, about 1100 

Lycurgus, about 850 

First Olympiad 776 

[It is curious to notice how many important events cluster about this period, 

viz. : Rome was founded in 753 ; the Era of Nabonassar in Babylon began . 

747; and Tiglath-pileser II., the great military king of Assyria, ascended 

the throne, 745.] 

First Messenian War 743-724 

Second Messenian War 685-668 

Draco 624 

Solon 594 

Pisistratns 560 

Battle of Marathon 490 

Battles of Thermopylae and Salamis 480 

" " Plattea and Mycale 479 

Age of Pericles 479-429 

Peloponnesian War 431-404 

Retreat of the Ten Thousand 400 

Battle of Leuctra 371 

Demosthenes delivered his First Philippic (Oration against Philip) . 352 

Battle of Chseronea 338 

Alexander the Great 336-323 

Battle of the Granicus 334 

" " Issua 333 

" " Arbela 331 

Oration of Demosthenes on The Crown 330 

Battle of Ips us 301 





at the time of its greatest extent. 

100 " 500 

On this Map Italia is divided into the 11 Regions of Augustus. 

KussELL & STRy."ifiS,6Ng's, N.y. 



While Greece was winning its freedom on the fields of 
Marathon and Plataga, and building up the best civilization 
the world had then seen ; while Alexander was carrying the 
Grecian arms and culture over the East ; while the Con- 
queror's successors were wrangling over the prize he had 
won ; while the Ptolemies were transplanting Grecian 
thought, but not Grecian freedom, to Egyptian soil ;-■ 
there was slowly growing up on the banks of the Tiber a 
city that was to found an empire wider than Alexander's, 
and molding Grecian civilization, art, and literature into 
new forms, preserve them long after Greece had fallen. 

Contrast between Greece and Italy. — Grecian history 
extended from the First Olympiad (776 b. c.) to the Roman 
Conquest (146 b. c), a period of six centuries, while its real 
strength lasted only from Marathon to Chaeronea, less than 
a century and a half; Roman history reached from the 
founding of the city (754 b. c.) to its downfall (476 a. d.), 

Geographical Quesito7ig.—^ee maps, pp. 210 and 255. Describe the Tiber. 
Locate Rome. Ostia. Alba Longa. Veil (Veji). The Sabines. The Etruscans. 
Where was Carthage ? New Carthage ? Saguntum ? Syracuse ? Lake Trasimenus ? 
Capua? Cannae? Tarentum? Cisalpine Gaul ? lapygla (the "heel of Italy" reaching 
toward Greece). Bruttium (the " toe of Italy "). What were the limits of the empira 
at the time of its greatest extent? Name the principal countries which it then In- 
cluded, Locftte Alexandria. Antioch, Smyrna. Philippi. Byzantium. 

204 K M E . 

over twelve centuries. The coast of Italy was not, like that 
of Greece, indented with deep bays, and hence the people 
were not originally seamen nor colonists. Greece, cut up 
into small valleys, offered no unity ; it grew around many 
little centers, and no two leaves on its tree of liberty were 
exactly alike. But Italy exhibited the unbroken advance of 
one imperial city to universal dominion. In Greece, there 
were the fickleness and jealousies of petty states ; in Italy, 
the power and resources of a mighty nation. Greece lay 
open to the East ; she originally drew her inspiration thence, 
and in time returned thither the fruits of her civilization. 
Italy lay open in the opposite direction, and sent the strength 
of her civilization to regenerate barbarian Europe. The 
work of the Greek seems to have been to exhibit the triumphs 
of the mind, and to illustrate the principles of liberty ; that 
of Eome, to subdue by irresistible force, to manifest the 
power of law, and to bind the nations together for the com- 
ing of a new religion. When Greece fell from her high 
estate, she left nothing but her history, and the achievements 
of her artists and statesmen. When the Roman Empire 
broke to pieces, the great nations of Europe sprang from the 
ruins, and their languages, civilization, laws, and religion 
took their form from the Mistress of the World. 

The Early Inhabitants of Italy were mainly of the 
same Aryan swarm that settled Greece. But they had be- 
come very different from the Hellenes, and had split into 
various hostile tribes. Between the Arno and the Tiber 
lived the Etruscans or Tuscans — a league of twelve cities. 
These people were great builders, and skilled in the arts. 
In northern Italy Cisalpine Gaul was inhabited by Celts, 
akin to those upon the other side of the Alps. Southern 
Italy contained many prosperous GreeTc cities. The Italians 
occupied central Italy. They were divided into the Latins 



and Oscans. The former comprised a league of thirty 
towns (note, p. 117) south of the Tiber ; the latter consisted 
of various tribes living eastward — Samnites, Sabines, etc.* 
Rome was founded f (754 b.c.) by the Latins, perhaps 


* Some authorities group the Samnites, Sabines, Umbri.ins, Oscans, Sabellians, 
etc., as the Umbriam ; and others call them the Umbro- Sabellians. They were 
doubtless closely related. 

t Of the early history op Home there is no reliable account, as the records 
were burned when the city was destroyed by the Gauls (390 b. c), and it was five 
hundred years after the founding of the city (A. U. C, anno urbis conditce) before the 
first rude attempt was made to write a continuous narrative of its origin. The names 
of the early monarchs are probably personifications, rather than the appellations of 
real persons. The word Rome itself means border, and probably had no relation to 
the fabled Romulus. The history which was accepted in later times by the Romans 
and has come down to us is a series of beautiful legends. In the text is given the 
real history as now received by the best critics, and in the notes the mythical stories. 

.^NEAs, favored by the god ^ ^ ^__^' 

Mercury and led by his mother 
Venus, cjime, after the destruc- 
tion of Troy, to Italy. There his 
son Ascanius built the Long 
White City (Alba Longa). His 
descendants reigned in peace for 
three hundred years. When it 
came time, according to the de- 
cree of the gods, that Rome 
should be founded, 

Romulus and Remus were 
born. Their mother, Rhea Silvia, 
was a priestess of the goddess 
Vesta, and their father. Mars, the 
god of war. Amulius, who had 
usurped the Alban throne from 
their grandfather Nnmitor, or- 
dered the babes to be thrown 
into the Tiber. They were, how- 
ever, cast ashore at the foot of 
Mount Palatine. Here they were 
nursed by a wolf. One Faustulus 
passing near was struck by the 
sight, and carrying the children 
home brought them up as his 
own. Romulus and Remus on 
coming to age discovered their 
true rank, slew the usurper, and restored their grandfather Numitor to his throne. 

Founding op Rome.— The brothers then determined to found a city near the spot 
where they had been so wonderfully preserved, and agreed to watch the flight of 
birds in order to decide which should fix upon the site. Remus, on the Aventine 
hill, saw six vultures ; but Romulus, on the Palatine, saw twelve, and was declared 
victor. He accordingly began to mark out the boundaries with a brazen plough, 
drawn by a bullock and a heifer, As th$ mud wall arose, Remus in scorn jumped 





a colony sent out from Alba Longa, as an outpost against 
the Etruscans, whom they greatly feared. At an early date 
it contained about one thousand miserable, thatched huts, 
surrounded by a wall. Most of the inhabitants were shep- 
herds or farmers, who tilled the land upon the plain near 
by, but lived for protection within their fortifications on 
the Palatine Hill. It is probable that the hills afterward 
covered by Rome were then occupied by Latins, and that 
the cities of Latium formed a confederacy, with Alba Longa 
at the head. 

over it. Whereupon Romulus slew him, exclaiming, " So perish every one who may 
try to leap over these ramparts ! " The new city he called Rome after his own name, 
and hecame its first king. To secure inhabitants, he opened an asylum for refugees 
and criminals. But lacking women, he resorted to a curious expedient. A great 
festival in honor of Neptune was appointed, and the neighboring people were invited 
to come with their families. In the midst of the games the young Romans rushed 
among the spectators, and each seizing a maiden, carried her off to be his wife. The 
indignant parents returned home, but only to come back in arms, and thirsting for 
vengeance. The Sabines laid siege to the citadel on the Capitoline hill. Tarpeia, 
the commandant's daughter, dazzled by the glitter of their golden bracelets and 

rings, promised to betray the 
fortress if the Sabines would 
give her " what they wore on 
their left arms." As they 
passed in through the gate, 
which she opened for them 
in the night, they crushed her 
beneath their heavy shields. 
Henceforth that part of the 
hill was called the Tarpeiau 
Kock, and down its precipice 
traitors were hurled to death. 
The next day after Tarpeia's 
treachery, the battle raged in 
the valley between the Capi- 
toline and Palatine hills. In 
his distress, Romulus vowed 
a temple to Jupiter. The Ro- 
mans thereupon turned and 
drove back their foes. In the 
flight, Mettius Curtius, the 
leader of the Sabines, sank 
with his horse into a marsh, 
and nearly perished. Ere the contest could be renewed, the Sabine women, with 
disheveled hair, suddenly rushed between their kindred and new-found husbands, 
and implored peace. Their entreaties prevailed, the two people united, and their 
kmgs reigned jointly. As the Sabines came from Cures, the united people wer« 
called Romans and Q;uirit€S. 




The Government was aristocratic. There were a priest- 
king, a senate, and an assembly. The priest-king offered 
sacrifices, and presided over the senate. The senate had the 
right to discuss, and vote ; the assembly, to discuss only. 
Each original family or house (gons) was represented in 
the senate by its head. This body was therefore composed 
of the fathers {patres), and was from the beginning the 
soul of the rising city ; while throughout its entire history 
the intelligence, experience, and wisdom gathered in the 
senate, determined the policy and shaped the public life 

Romulus, after the death of Tatius, became sole king. He divided the people into 
nobles and commons ; the former he called patricians, and the latter plebeians. The 
patricians were separated into three tribes— i?a/, Tities, and Luceres. In each of 
these he made ten divisions or cuHoe. The thirty curise formed the assembly of the 
people. The plebeians being apportioned as tenants and dependents among the 
patricians, were called clients. One hundred of the patricians were chose;* for age and 
wisdom, and sijledifatfiers (patres). After Romulus had reigned thirty-seven years, 
and done all these things according to the will of the gods, one day, during a violent 
thunder-storm, he disappeared from sight, and was henceforth worshipped as a god. 

NcTMA PoMPiiiius, a pious Sabine, was the second king. Numa was wise from 
his youth, as a sign of which his hair was gray at birth. He was trained by Pythag- 
oras (p. 174) in all the knowledge of the Greeks ; 
and was wont, in a sacred grove near Rome, to 
meet the nymph Egeria, who taught him lessons 
of wisdom, and how men below should worship 
the gods above. By pouring wine into the spring 
whence Faunus and Picus, the gods of the wood, 
drank, he led them to tell him the secret charm 
to gain the will of Jupiter. Peace smiled on the 
land during his happy reign, and the doors of the 
temple of Janus remained closed. 

TuLLTJ^ HosTiLius, the third king, loved war 
as Numa did peace. He soon got into a quarrel 
with Alba Longa. As the armies were about to 
fight, it was agreed to decide the contest by a 
combat between the Horatii— three brothers in 
the Roman ranks, and the Curatii— three brothers 
in the Alban. They were cousins, and one of the 
Curatii was engaged to be married to a sister of one of the Horatii. In the fight, 
two of the Horacii were killed, when the third pretended to run. The Curatii, be- 
cause of their wounds, followed him slowly, and becoming separated, he turned 
about and slew them one by one. As the victor returned laden with the spoils, he 
met his sister, who. catching sight of the robe which she had embroidered for her 
lover, burst into tears. Horatius, unable to bear her reproaches, struck her dead, 
saying, " So perish any Roman woman who laments a foe ! " The murderer was con- 
demned to die, but the people spared him because his valor had saved Rome. Alba 
submitted, but the inhabitants proving treacherous, the city was razed, and the people 
were taken to Rome and located on the Coelian hill. The Albans and the Romans 




that made Kome the Mistress of the World. The assembly 
{comitia curiata) consisted of the males belonging to these 
ancient families. The members voted in ten bodies {cur ice), 
each containing the nobles of ten houses (gentes). 

Sabine Invasion and League. — The Sabines, coming 
down the valley of the Tiber, captured the Capitoline and 
Quirinal hills. There were frequent conflicts between these 
near neighbors, but they soon came into an alliance. Finally, 
the two tribes formed one city, and the people were there- 
after known as Romans and Quirites. Both had seats in 

now became one nation as the Sabines and the Romans had become in the days of 

Romulns. In his old age Tullus sought to find out the will of Jupiter, using the spells 

of Numa, but angry Jove struck him with a thunderbolt. 

Angus Mabcius, the grandson of Numa, conquered many Latin cities, and, 
bringing the inhabitants to Rome, gave them homes on 
the Aventine hill. He wrote Numa's laws on a white 
board in the Forum, built a bridge over the Tiber, and 
erected the Mamertine prison, the first in the city. 

TARQxnNius Pbisous, the fifth king, was an Etruscan, 
who came to Rome during the reign of Ancus. As he 
approached the city, an eagle flew circling above his 
head, seized his cap, rose high in air, and then returning 
replaced it. His wife, Tanaquil, being learned in augury, 
foretold that he was coming to distinguished honor. Her 
prediction proved true, for he greatly pleased Ancus, 
who named him as his successor in place of his own 
children. The people ratified the choice, and the event 
proved its wisdom. Tarquin built the famous Drain 
(cloaca), which still remains with scarce a stone dis- 
placed. He planned the Great Race-Course (Circus 
Maximus), and its games. He conquered Etruria, and 
the Etruscans sent him " a golden crown, a«ceptre, an 
ivory chair, a purple toga, an embroidered tunic, and an 
axe tied in a bundle of rods." So the Romans adopted 
these emblems of royal power as signs of their do- 

Now there was a boy named Servius TuUius brought 
up in the palace, who was a favorite of the king. One 
day while the child was asleep lambent flames were seen 
playing about his head. Tanaquil foresaw from this 
that he was destined to great things. He was hence- 
forth in high favor ; he married the king's daughter, 
and became his counsellor. The sons of Ancus fearing 
lest Servius should succeed to the throne, and being 
wroth with Tarquin because of the loss of their paternal 
inheritance, assassinated the king. But Tanaquil re- 
ported that Tarquin was only wounded, and wished that 

Servius might govern until he recovered. When the deception was found out, 



the senate, and the king was taken alternately from each. 
This was henceforth the mode of Rome's growth ; she ad- 
mitted her allies and conquered enemies to citizenship, thus 
adding their strength to her own, and making her victories 
their victories. 

Alba Longa, the chief town of the Latin league and the 
mother-city of Rome, was herself, after a time, destroyed, 
and the inhabitants were transferred to Rome. The Alban 
nobles, now perhaps called Luceres, with the Sabines (Titles), 
already joined to the original Romans (Ramnes), made the 

Sebyius was firmly fixed in his seat. He made a league with the Latins, and, as 
a sign of the union, built to Diana a temple on the Aventine, where both peoples 
offered annual sacrifices for Rome and Latium. He enlarged Rome, enclosing the 
seven hills with a stone wall ; and divided the city into four parts— called tribes, after 
the old division of the people as instituted by Romulus— and all the land about into 
twenty-six districts. The son of a bond-maid, Servius favored the common people. 
This was shown in his separation of all the Romans— patricians and plebeians— into 
five classes, according to their wealth. These classes were subdivided into centuries, 
and they were to assemble in this military order when the king wished to consult 
concerning peace or war, or laws. In the centuriate assembly the richest citizens 
had the chief influence, for they formed eighty centuries, and the knights (eguites) 
eighteen centuries, each having a vote ; while fewer votes were given to the lower 
classes. But this arrangement was not unjust, since the wealthy were to provide 
themselves with heavy armor, and fight in the front rank ; while the poorest citizens, 
who formed but one century, \vere exempt from military service. 

The two daughters of Ser-vius were married to the two sons of Tarquinius the 
Elder. The couples were il!y-matched, in each case the good and gentle being mated 
with the cruel and haughty. Finally, Tullia murdered her husband, and Lucius 
killed his wife, and t^ese two partners in crime and of like evil instincts, were mar- 
ried. Lucius now conspired with the nobles against the king. His plans being ripe, 
one day he went into the senate and sat down on the throne. Servius hearing the 
tumult which arose, hastened hither. Whereupon Lucius hurled the king headlong 
down the steps. As the old man was tottering homeward the usurper's attendants 
followed and murdered him, Tullia hastened to the senate to salute her husband as 
king. But he, somewhat less brutal than she, ordered her back. While returning, 
her driver came to the prostrate body of the king and was about to turn aside, when 
she fiercely bade him " Go forward ! " The blood of her father spattered her dress 
as the chariot rolled over his lifeless remains. The place took its name from this 
horrid deed , and was henceforth known as the Wicked Street. 

Lucius Tarquinius, who thus became the seventh and last king, was sumamed 
Superbus (the Proud). He erected massive edifices, compelling the workmen to re- 
ceive such pitiable wages that many in despair committed suicide. In digging the 
foundations of a temple to Jupiter, a bleeding hand (caput) was discovered. This the 
king took to be an omen that the city was to become the head of the world, and so gave 
the name Capitoline to the temple, and the hill on which it stood. In the vaults of 
this temple weje deposited the Sibylline books, concerning which a singular story was 
told. One day a sibyl from CumaB came to the king, offering to sell him for a fabulous 
sum nine books of prophecies. Tarquin declined to buy. Whereupon she burned 



number of tribes three ; of curiae, thirty ; and of houses, 
(probably) three hundred. 

Etruscan Conquest. — The rising city was, in its turn, 
conquered by the Etruscans, who placed the Tarquins on 
the throne. This foreign dynasty were builders as well as 
warriors. They adorned Kome with elegant edifices of 
Etruscan architecture. They added the adjacent heights to 
the growing capital, and extended around the ** seven-hilled 
city" a stone wall, which lasted eight centuries. Eome, 
within one hundred and fifty years after her founding, be- 
came the head of Latium. 

three of the books, and demanded the same price for the remaining six. Tarquin 
laughed, thinking her mad. But when she burned three more, and still asked the 
original amount for the other volumes, the king began to reflect, and finally bought 
the books. They were thereafter jealously guarded, and consulted in all great state 

The Latin town of Gabii was taken by a stratagem. Sextus, the son of Tarquin, 
pretending to have fled from his father's ill-usage, took refuge in that city. 
Having secured the confidence of the people, he secretly sent to his father, asking 
advice. Tarquin merely took the messenger into his garden, and walking to and fro, 
knocked oif with his cane the tallest poppies. Sextus read his father's meaning, and 
managed to get rid of the chief men of Gabii, when it was easy to give up the place 
to the Romans. 

Tarquin was greatly troubled by a strange omen, a serpent having eaten the sacri- 
fice on the royal altar. The two sons of the king were accordingly sent to consult 
the oracle at Delphi. They were accompanied by their cousin Junius, called Brutus 
because of his silliness, which however was only assumed, through fear of the tyrant 
who had already killed his brother. The king's sons made the Delphic god costly 
presents ; Brutus brought only a simple staff, but, unknown to the rest, this was 
hollow and filled with gold. Having executed their commission, the young men 
asked the priestess which of them should be king. The reply was, *' The one who 
first kisses his mother." On reaching Italy, Brutus pretending to fall, kissed the 
ground, the common mother of us all. 

As the royal princes and Tarquinius Collatinus were one day feasting in the camp, 
a dispute arose concerning the mdustry of their wives. To decide it they at once 
hastened homeward through the darkness. They found the king's daughters at a 
festival, while Lucretia, the wife of Collatinus, was in the midst of her slaves, distaff 
in hand. Collatinus was exultant ; but soon after Lucretia, stung by the insults 
she received from Sextus, killed herself, calling upon her friends to avenge her 
fate. Brutus, casting off the mask of madness, drew forth the dagger she used, and 
vowed to kill Sextus and expel the detested race. The oath was repeated as the red 
blade passed from hand to 'aand. The people rose in indignation, and drove the 
Tarquins from the city. Henceforth the Romans hated the very name of king. Rome 
now became a free city after it had been governed by kings for two hundred and forty- 
five years. The people chose for rulers two consuls, elected yearly ; and to offer 
sacrifices in place of the king, they selected a priest who should have no power in the 

^12 EOME. 

Tlie Tar quins were the friends of the common people 
(plels), who already began to be illy-treated by the nobles. 
In order to help the plebs, Servius divided all the Romans 
into five classes according to their property, and these again 
into one hundred and ninety-three centuries or companies. 
The people were directed to assemble by centuries (comitia 
centuriatu), either to fight or to vote. This body, in fact, 
constituted an army, and was called together on the field of 
Mars by the blast of the trumpet. To the new centuriate 
assembly was given the right of selecting the king and 
enacting the laws. The king was deprived of his power as 

Brutus and Collatinus were the first consuls. Soon after this the two sons of 
Brutus plotted to bring Tarquin back. Their father was sitting on the judgment-seat 
when they were brought in for trial. The stern old Roman, true to duty, sentenced 
both to death as traitors. 

Tarquin now induced the Etruscans of the towns of Veil and Tarquinii to aid 
him, and they accordingly marched toward Rome. The Romans went forth to meet 
them. As the two armies drew near, Aruns, son of Tarquin, catching sight of Brutus, 
rushed forward, and the two enemies fell dead pierced by-each other's spears. Night 
alone checked the terrible contest which ensued. During the darkness the voice of 
the god Silvanus was heard in the woods, saying that Rome had beaten since the 
Etruscans had lost one man more than the Romans. The Etruscans fled in dismay. 
The matrons of Rome mourned Brutus for a whole year because he had so bravely 
avenged the wrongs of Lucretia. 

Next came a powerful army of Etruscans under Porsenna, king of OJusium. He 
captured Janiculum (a hill just across the Tiber), and would have forced his way into 
the city with the fleeing Romans had not Horatius Codes, with two brave men, held 
the bridge while it was cut down behind them. As the timbers tottered, his com- 
panions rushed across. But he kept the enemy at bay until the shouts of the Romans 
told him the bridge was gone, when, with a prayer to father Tiber, he leaped into the 
stream, and, amid a shower of arrows, swam safely to the bank. The people never 
tired of praising this hero. They erected a statue in his honor, and gave him as 
much land as he could plow in a day. 

' And still his name sounds stirring 
Unto the men of Rome, 
As the trumpet-blast that cries to them 

To charge the Volscian home. 
And wives still pray to Juno 

For boys with hearts as bold 
As his who kept the bridge so well 
In the brave days of old." 

— Macaulay's Lays. 

Porsenna now laid siege to the city. Then Mucins, a young noble, went to the 
Etruscan camp to kill Porsenna. By mistake he slew the treasurer. Being dragged 
before the king and threatened with death if he did not confess his accomplices, he 
thrust his right hand into an altar-fire, and held it there until it was burned to a 



priest, this office being conferred on the chief pontiff. The 
higher classes, aggrieved by these changes, at last combined 
with other Latin cities to expel their Etruscan rulers. Kings 
now came to an end at Rome. This was in 509 b. c. — a year 
after Hippias was driven out of Athens (p. 124). 

The Republic was then established. Two chief magis- 
trates, consuls (at first called praetors), Avere chosen, it being 
thought that if one turned out badly the other would check 
him. The constitution of Servius was adopted, and the 
senate, which had dwindled in size, was restored to its ideal 
number, three hundred, by the addition of one hundred and 
sixty-four life-members {conscripti) chosen from the richest 
of the knights {equites), several of these being plebeians. 

The Struggle between the Patricians and the 
Plebeians was the characteristic of the first two hundred 
years of the republic. The patricians were the descendants 
of the first settlers. They were rich, proud, exclusive, 
and demanded all the offices of the government. Each 
of these nobles was supported by a powerful body of clients 
or dependants. The plebeians were the newer famihes. 
They were generally poor, forbidden the rights of citizens, 

crisp. Porsenna, amazed at his firmness, gavp him his liberty. Mucius thereupon 
told the king that three hundred Roman youths had sworn to accomplish his death. 
Porsenna, alarmed for his life, made peace with Rome. Among the hostages given 
by Rome was Cloelia, a noble maiden, who, escaping from the Etruscan camp, swam 
the Tiber. The Romans sent her back, but Porsenna, admiring her courage, set her 

Tarquin next secured a league of thirty Latin cities to aid in his restoration. In 
this emergency the Romans appointed a dictator^ who should possess absolute power 
for six months. A great battle was fought at Lake Regi'lus. Like most ancient con- 
tests, it began with a series of single encounters. First, Tarquin and the Roman 
dictator fought. Then, the Latin dictator and the Roman master of horse. Finally, 
the main armies came to blows. The Romans being worsted, their dictator vowed a 
temple to Castor and Pollux. Suddenly the Twin Brethren, taller and fairer than 
men, on enow-white horses and clad in rare armor, were seen fighting at his side. 
Everywhere the Latins broke and fled before them. Tarquin gave up his attempt in 
despair. That night two riders, their horses wet with foam and blood, rode up to a 
fountain before the temple of Vesta at Rome, and. as they washed off in the cool 
water the traces of the battle, told how a great victory had been won over the Latin 
host. (See Steele's Astronomy^ p. 250.) 

214 ROME. [494B.C. 

and not allowed to intermarry with the patricians. Obliged 
to serve in the army without pay, during their absence their 
farms remained untilled, and were often ravaged by the 
enemy. Forced, when they returned from war, to borrow 
money of the patricians for seed, tools, and food, if they 
failed in their payments they could be sold as slaves, or cut 
in pieces for distribution among their creditors. The prisons 
connected with the houses of the great patricians were full 
of plebeian debtors. 

Secession to Mons Sacer. — Tribunes (494 b.c.). — 
The condition of the plebs became so unbearable that they 
finally marched off in a body and encamped on the Sacred 
Mount, where they determined to build a new city, and let 
the patricians have the old • one for themselves. The 
patricians,* in alarm, settled the difficulty by the appoint- 
ment of tribunes of the people, whose persons were to be 
sacred, and whose houses, standing open day and night, 
were to be places of refuge. To these new officers was after- 
ward given the power of veto (I forbid) over any law passed 
by the senate and considered injurious to the plebs. Such 
was the exclusiveness of the senate, however, that the trib- 
unes could not enter the senate-house, but were obliged to 
remain outside, and shout* the ''veto" through the open 

There were now two distinct peoples in Rome, each with 
its own interests and officers. This is well illustrated in the 
fact that the agreement made on Mons Sacer was concluded 
in the form of an international treaty, with the usual oaths 
and sacrifices ; and that the magistrates of the plebs were 

* Old Menenius Agrippa produced a great effect upon the plebeians by telling them 
the following fable : Once upon a time the various organs of the body becoming tired 
of supporting the stomach in idleness, " struck work." The legs stopped ; the hands 
would not carry ; and the teeth would not chew. But after a little they all began to 
fail for lack of food, and then they found how much they depended on the stomach, 
in spite of its apparent laziness. 

494 B.C.] 




declared to be inviolate, 
like the ambassadors of 
a foreign power. 

The three popular 
assemblies which ex- 
isted in Rome, with 
their peculiar organiza- 
tion and powers, mark- 
ed as many stages of 
constitutional growth 
in the state. 

The assembly of curies 
(comitia curiata), the 
oldest and long the 
only one, was based on 
the patrician separation 

into tribes (Kamnes, Titles, and Luceres). No plebeian had 
a voice in this gathering, and it early lost its influence and 
became a relic of the past. The assembly of centuries 
(comitia centuriata) came in with the Etruscan kings, and 
was essentially a military organization. Based on classes of 
the entire population, it gave the plebeians their first voice, 
though a weak one, in public affairs. The assembly of the 
tribes (comitia tributa), introduced with the rising of the 
plebs, was based on the new separation into tribes, ^. e., 
wards and districts. The patricians were liere excluded as 
the plebeians had been at first ; and Rome, which began 
with a purely aristocratic assembly, had now a purely demo- 
cratic one. 

The original number of the local tribes was twenty 
in all — four city wards and sixteen country districts. 
With the growth of the republic and the acquisition of new 
territory, the number was increased to thirty-five (241 B. c). 

^16 ROME. [486B.C. 

The Roman citizens were theti so numerous and so scattered 
that it was impossible for them to meet at Rome to elect 
officers and make laws ; but still the organization was kept 
up till the end of the republic. 

An Agrarian Law {ager, a field) was the next measure 
of relief granted to the common people. It was customary 
for the Romans when they conquered a territory to leave the 
owners a part of the land, and to take the rest for them- 
selyes. Though this became public property, the patricians 
used it as their own. The plebeians, who bore the brunt of 
the fighting, naturally thought they had the best claim to 
the spoils of war, and with the assertion of their civil rights 
came now a claim for the rights of property.* 

Spurius Cassius \ (486 b. c), though himself a patrician, 
secured a law ordaining that part of the public lands should 
be divided among the poor plebeians, and the patricians 
should pay rent for the rest. But the patricians were so 
strong that they made the law a dead letter, and finally, 
on the charge of wishing to be king, put Spurius to death, 
and leveled his house to the ground. The agitation, how- 
ever, still continued. 

The Decemvirs (451 b. c). — The tribunes, through 
ignorance of the laws, which were jealously guarded as the 
exclusive property of the patricians, were often thwarted 
in their measures to aid the common people. The plebs 
of Rome, therefore, like the common people of Athens 
nearly two hundred years before (p. 121), demanded that 
the laws should be made public. After a long struggle 
the senate yielded. Ten men {decemvirs) were appointed 

* Property at that early date consisted almost entirely of land and cattle. The 
Latin word for money, pecunia (cattle), indicates this ancient identity. 

t Spurius was the author of the famous League of the Romans, Latins, and Her- 
nicans, by means of which the ^quians and Volscians were lono: held in check. 
The men of the Latin League fought side by side until after the Gallic invasion. 


to revise and publish the laws. Meanwhile the regular 
government of consuls and tribunes was suspended. The 
decemvirs did their work well, and compiled ten tables 
of laws that were acceptable. Their year of office having 
expired, a second body of decemvirs was chosen to write the 
rest of the laws. The senate, finding them favorable to the 
plebeians, forced the decemvirs to resign ; introduced into 
the two remaining tables regulations obnoxious to the com- 
mon people; and then endeavored to restore the consular 
government without the tribuneship. The plebs a second 
time seceded to the Sacred Mount, and the senate was forced 
to reinstate tiie tribunes.* 

The Laws of the Twelve Tables remained as the 
grand result of the decem viral legislation. They were 
engraved on blocks of wood or ivory, and hung up in the 

* The accountj of this trani?action given in Livy^s History is doubtless largely 
legendary. The story runs as follows : Three ambassadors were appointed to visit 
Athens (this was during the " Age of Pericles "), and examine the laws of Solon. On 
their return the decemvirs were chosen. They were to be supreme, and the consuls, 
tribunes, etc., resigned. The new rulers did admirably during one term, and com- 
pleted ten tables of excellent laws that were adopted by the assembly of centuries. 
Decemvirs were therefore chosen for a second term. Appius Claudius was the most 
popular of the first body of decemvirs, and the only one re-elected. Now, alf was 
quickly changed ; the ten men became at once odious tyrants, and Appius Claudius 
chief of all. Each of the decemvirs was attended by twelve lictors, bearing the 
fasces with the axes wherever he went in public. Two new tables of oppressive laws, 
confirming the patricians in their iiated privileges, were added to the former tables. 
When the year expired the decemvirs called no new election, and held their office in 
defiance of the senate and the people. No man's life was safe, and many leading 
persons fled from Rome. The crisis soon came. One day, seeing a beautiful maiden, 
the daughter of a plebeian named Virginius, crossing the Forum, Claudius resolved 
to make her his own. So he directed a client to seize her on the charge that she was 
the child of one of his slaves, and then to bring the case before the decemvirs for 
trial. Claudius, of course, decided in favor of his client. Thereupon Virginius drew 
his daughter one side from the judgment-seat as if to bid her farewell. Suddenly 
catching up a butcher's knife from a block near by, he plunged it into his daughter's 
heart, crying, " Thus only can I make thee free ! " Then brandishing the red blade, 
he hastened to the camp and roused the soldiers, who marched to the city, breathing 
vengeance. As over the body of the injured Lucretia, so again over the corpse of the 
spotless Virginia the populace swore that Rome should be free. The plebeians flocked 
out once more to the Sacred Mount. The decemvirs were forced to resign. The 
tribunes and consuls were restored to power. Appius, in despair, committed suicide. 
(The version of this story given in the text above is that of Ihne, the great German 
critic, in his new work on Early Rome.) 


218 ROME. [451 B.C. 

Forum, where all could read them. Henceforth they con- 
stituted the foundation of the written law of Rome, and 
eyery school-boy, as late as Cicero's time, learned them by 

Continued Triumph of the Plebs. — Step by step the 
plebeians pushed their demand for equal privileges with 
the patricians. First, the Valerian and Horatian decrees 
(449 B. c), so called from the consuls who prepared them, 
made the resolutions passed by the plebeians in the assembly 
of the tribes binding equally upon the patricians. Next, 
the Canuleian decree (445 B. c.) abolished the law against 
intermarriage. The patricians, finding that the plebeians 
were likely to get hold of the consulship, compromised by abol- 
ishing that office, and by choosing, through the assembly of 
centuries, from patricians and plebeians alike, three military 
tribunes with consular powers. But the patricians did not 
act in good faith, and by innumerable arts managed to cir- 
cumvent the plebs, so that during the next fifty years (until 
400 B. c.) there were twenty elections of consuls instead of 
military tribunes, and when military tribunes were chosen 
they were always patricians. Meanwhile the patricians also 
secured the appointment of censors, who were to be chosen 
from their ranks exclusively, and who, besides taking the 
census, were to classify the people and exercise a general 
supervision over their morals. So vindictive was the struggle 
now going on, that the nobles did not shrink from murder 
to remove a promising plebeian candidate.* But the plebs 

* Thue the Fabii, a powerful patrician house (one of the consuls for seven succes- 
sive years was a Pabius), having taken the side of the plebs, and finding that they 
could not thereafter live in peace at Rome, left the city and founded an outpost on 
the Cremera, below Veil, where they could still serve their country. This little body 
of three hundred and six soldiers— including the Fabii, their clients and dependants- 
sustained for two years the full brunt of the Veientine War. At length they were 
enticed into an ambuscade, and all were slain except one little boy, the ancestor of 
the Fabius afterward so famous. During the massacre the consular army was near 
by, but patrician hate would not permit a rescue. 

Again, during a severe famine at Rome (440 B. c), a rich plebeian, named Spurius 

367 B. c] 


held firm, and finally secured the famous Licinian Rogation 
(867 B.C.), which ordered, — 

*' I. That, in case of debts on which interest had been met, the sum of the interest 
paid should be deducted from the principal, and the remainder become due in three 
successive years. This bankrupt law was designed to aid the poor, now overwhelmed 
with debt, and so in the power of the rich creditor. 

II. That no citizen should hold more than five hundred jugera (about three hun- 
dred and twenty acres) of the public land, and should not feed on the public pastures 
more than a limited number of cattle, under penalty of fine. 

in. That henceforth consuls, not consular tribunes, should be elected, and that 
one of the two consuls must be plebeian. 

IV. That instead of two patricians being chosen to keep the Sibylline books, there 
should be ten men, taken from both orders." 

For years after its passage the patricians struggled to pre- 
yent the decree from going into effect. But the common 
people finally won. They never lost the ground they had 
gained, and secured, in rapid succession, the dictatorship, the 
censorship, the praetorship, and (300 b. c.) the right to be 
pontiff and augur. Kome, at last, nearly two centuries 
after the republic began, possessed a democratic govern- 
ment. *^ Civil concord," says Weber, '^ to which a temple 
was dedicated at this time, brought with it a period of civic 
virtue and heroic greatness." 

Foreign Wars. — The fall of the monarchy left Eome in 
weakness. Her old supremacy over Latium was gone, and 
often, while the long and fierce struggle which we have 
just considered was going on within her walls, her armies 
were fighting without, sometimes for the very existence of 
the city. There was a constant succession of wars* with 

Maelius, sold grain to the poor at a very low rate. The patricians, finding that he 
was likely to be a successful candidate for office, accused him of wishing to be king, 
and as he refused to appear before his enemies for trial, Ahala, the master of 
horse, slew him in the Forum, with his own hand. 

* Various beautiful legends cluster around these eventful wars, and they have 
attained almost the dignity, though we cannot tell how much they contain of the 
truth, of history. 

CoRioLANirs.— While the Romans were besieging Corioli, the Volscians made a 
sally, but were defeated. In the eagerness of the pursuit, Cains Marcius followed the 
enemy inside the gates, which were closed upon him. But with his good sword he 
hewed his way back, and let in the Romans. So the city was taken, and the hero 



[490 B. c. 

the Latins, ^quians, Volscians, Etruscans, Veientes, and 

The Gallic Invasion. — In the midst of these contests a 
horde of Gauls crossed the Apennines, and spread hke a 
devastating flood over central Italy. Rome was taken, and 
nearly all the city burned (490 B.C.). The invaders con- 
received the name Coriolanns. Afterward there was a famine at Rome, and grain 
arriving from Sicily, Caius would not sell any to the plebs unless they would submit 
to the patricians. Thereupon the tribunes sought to bring him to trial, but he fled 
and took refuge among the Volsci. Soon after, he returned at the head of a great 
army and laid siege to Rome. The city was in peril. As a final resort, his mother, 
wife, and children, with many of the chief women, clad in the deepest mourning, 
went forth and fell at his feet. Unable to resist their entreaties, Coriolanus ex- 
claimed, " Mother, thou hast saved Rome, but lost thy son." Having given the order 
to retreat, he is said to have been slain by the angry Volsci. 


CiNciNNATUS.— One day news came that the -^quians had surrounded the consul 
Minucius and his army in a deep valley, whence they could not escape. There seemed 
no one in Rome fit to meet this emergency except Titus Quinctius, surnamed Cincin- 
njitcis or the Curly-haired, who was now declared dictator. The officers who went to 


sented to retire only on the payment of a heavy ransom. 
So deep an impression was made upon the Romans by the 
size, strength, courage, and enormous number of these bar- 
barians that they thenceforth called a war with the Gauls a 
tumult, and kept in the treasury a special fund for such a 

The final effect of all these wars was beneficial to Rome. 
The plebeians, who formed the strength of her army, 
frequently carried their point against the patricians by 
refusing to fight until they got their rights. These long 
struggles, too, matured the Roman energy, and developed 

announce his appointment found him plowing on his little farm of four acres, 
which he tilled himself. He called for his toga, that he might receive the commands 
of the senate with due respect, when he was at once hailed dictator. Repairing to 
the city, he assembled fresh troops, bidding each man carry twelve wooden stakes. 
That very night he surrounded the -^quians, dug a ditch, and made a palisade about 
their camp. Minucius hearing the Roman war-cry, rushed up and fell upon the 
enemy with all his might. When day broke, the .^quians found themselves hemmed 
in, and were forced to surrender and to pass under the yoke. Cincinnatus, on his 
return, was awarded a golden crown. Having saved his country, he resigned his 
office and went back to his plow again, content with the quiet of his rustic home. 

The siege of Veu— the Troy of Roman legend— lasted ten years. Before that 
the Roman wars consisted mainly of mere forays into an enemy's country. Now the 
troops remained summer and winter, and, for the first time, received regular pay. In 
the seventh year of the siege. Lake Albanus, though in the heat of summer, over- 
flowed its banks. The Delphic oracle declared that Veil would not fall until the lake 
was dried up ; whereupon the Roman army cut a tunnel through the solid rock to 
convey the surplus water over the neighboring fields. Still the city did not yield. 
Camillus having been appointed dictator, dug a passage under the wall. One day the 
king of Veil was about to offer a sacrifice, when the soothsayer told him that the city 
should belong to him who slew the victim. The Romans, who were beneath, heard 
these words, and, forcing their way through, hastened to the shrine, and Camillus 
completed the sacrifice. The gates were thrown open, and the Roman army rushing 
in, overpowered all opposition. 

The city op Falekh had aided the Veientes. When Camillus, bent on revenge, 
appeared before the place, a schoolmaster secretly brought into the Roman camp his 
pupils, the children of the chief men of Falerii. Camillus, scorning to receive the 
traitor, tied his hands behind his back, and giving whips to the boys, bade them flog 
their master back into the city. The Falerians, moved by such magnanimity, sur- 
rendered to the Romans. Camillus entered Rome in a chariot drawn by white horses, 
and having his face colored with vermilion, as was the custom when the gods were 
borne in procession. Unfortunately, he offended the plebs by ordering each man to 
restore one-tenth of his booty for an offering to Apollo. He was accused of pride, 
and of appropriating to his own use the bronze gates of Veil. Forced to leave the 
city, he went out praying that Rome might yet need his help. That time soon came. 
Five years after, the Gauls defeated the Romans at the 

River Allia. So great was the slaughter that the anniversary of the battle was 

222 ROME. [490 B.C. 

the Roman character in all its stern, unfeeling, and yet 
heroic strength. 

Afte?^ the Gallic invasion Rome was soon rebuilt. The 
surrounding nations having suffered still more severely from 
the northern barbarians, and tlie Gauls being now looked 
upon as the common enemy of Italy, Rome came to be con- 
sidered the common defender. The plebs, in rebuilding 
their ruined houses and buying tools, cattle, and seed, were 
reduced to greater straits than ever before (unless after the 
expulsion of the Etruscan kings) ; and to add to their bur- 
dens a double tribute was imposed by the government, in 

henceforth a black day in the Roman calendar. The wreck of the army took refuge 
in Veil. The people of Rome fled for their lives. The young patricians garrisoned 
the citadel ; and the gray-haired senators, devoting themselves as an offering to the 
gods, put on their robes, and, sitting in their ivory-chairs of magistracy, awaited 
death. The barbarians, hurrying through the deserted streets, at length came to the 
Forum. For a moment they stood amazed at the sight of those solemn figures. Then 
one of the Gauls put out his hand reverently to stroke the white beard of an aged 
senator, when the indignant Roman, revolting at the profanation, felled him with his 
staff. The spell was broken, and the senators were ruthlessly massacred. 

Thesieje of the Capitol lasted for months. One night a party of Gauls clambered 
up the steep ascent, and one of them reached the highest ledge of the rock. Just 
then some sacred geese in the temple of Juno began to cry and flap their wings. 
Marcus Manlius, aroused by the noise, rushed out, saw the peril, and dashed the 
foremost Gaul over the precipice. Other Romans rallied to his aid, and the imminent 
peril was arrested. The Gauls, becoming weary of the siege, offered to accept a ran- 
som of a thousand pounds of gold. This sum was raised from the temple-treasures 
and the ornaments of the Roman women. As they were weighing the articles, the 
Romans complained of the scales being false, when Brennus, the Gallic chief, threw 
in his heavy sword, insolently exclaiming, " Woe to the vanquished ! " At that 
moment Camillus strode in at the head of an army, crying, " Rome is to be bought 
with iron, not gold I ", drove out the enemy, and not a man escaped to tell how low 
the city had fallen on that eventful day. When the Romans returned to their devas- 
tated homes they were at first of a mind to leave Rome, and occupy the empty dwell- 
ings of Veii. But a lucky omen prevailed on them to remain. Just as a senator was 
rising to speak, a centurion relieving guard gave the command," Plant your colors; 
this is the best place to stay in." The senators rushed forth, shouting, " The gods 
have spoken ; we obey ! " The people caught the enthusiasm, and cried out, "Rome 
forever 1 " 

Marcus Manlius, who saved the Capitol, befriended the people in the distress 
which followed the Gallic invasion. One day, seeing a soldier dragged off to prison 
for debt, he paid the amount and released the man, at the same time swearing that 
while he had any property left, no Roman should be imprisoned for debt. The patri- 
cians, jealous of his influence among the plebs, accused him of wishing to become 
king. He was brought to trial in the Campus Martius ; but the hero pointed to the 
spoils of thirty warriors whom he had slain; forty distinctions won in battle; his 
innumerable scars ; and, above all, to the Capitol he had saved. His enemies finding 


order to replace the sacred gold used to buy off the Gauls. 
But this very misery soon led to the Licinian Rogations, and 
so to the. growth of liberty. Thus the plebs got a consul 
twenty-four years after the Gauls left, just as they got the 
tribunes fifteen years after the Etruscans left ; the succeed- 
ing ruin both times being followed by a triumph of 

The capture of Veii (396 B. c.) gave the Eomans a foothold 
beyond the Tiber ; and, only three years after the Gallic in- 
vasion, four new tribes, carved out of the Veientine land, 
were added to the republic. 

a conviction in that place impossible, adjourned to a grove where the Capitol could 
not be seen, and there the man who had saved Rome was sentenced to death, and at 
once hurled from the Tarpeian Rock. 

QuiNTUs CuRTius.— Not long after the Licinian Rogations were passed, Rome 
was afflicted by a plague, in which Camillas died ; by an overflow of the Tiber ; and 
by an earthquake, which opened a great chasm in the Forum. The augurs de- 
clared that the gulf would not close until there were cast into it the most precious 
things. Whereupon Quintus Curtius mounted his horse, and riding at full speed, 
leaped into the abyss, declaring that Rome's best riches were her brave men. 

The Battle op Mount Vesuvius (340 b. c.) was the chief event of the Latin 
War. Prior to this engagement the consul Manlius ordered that no one should quit 
his post under pain of death. But his own son. provoked by the taunts of a Tusculan 
officer, left the ranks, slew his opponent in single combat, and brought the bloody 
spoils to his father. The stern parent ordered him to be at once beheaded by the 
lictor, in the presence of the army. During the battle which followed, the Romans 
were on the point of yielding, when Decius, the plebeian consul, who had promised, 
in case of defeat, to oflfer himself to the infernal gods, fulfilled his vow. Calling the 
pontifex maximus, he repeated the form devoting the foe and himself to death, and 
then wrapping his toga about him leaped upon his horse, and dashed into the thickest 
of the fight. His death inspired the Ilomans with fresh hope, and scarce one-fourth 
of the Latins escaped from that bloody field. 

Battle of the Caudine Forks.— During the second Samnite War there arose 
among the Samnites a famous captain named Caius Pontius. By a stratagem he en- 
ticed the Roman army into the Caudine Forks. High mountains here enclose a little 
plain, having at each end a passage through a narrow defile. When the Romans were 
fairly in the basin the Samnites suddenly appeared in both gorges, and forced the 
consuls to surrender with four legions. Pontius, having sent his prisoners under 
the yoke, furnished them with wagons for the wounded and food for their journey, 
and then released them on certain conditions of peace. The senate refused to ratify 
the terms, and ordered the consuls to be delivered up to the Samnites, but did not 
send back the soldiers. Pontius replied that if the senate would not make peace, 
then it should place the army back in the Caudine Forks. The Romans, who rarely 
scrupled at any conduct that promised their advantage, continued the war. Bat when, 
twenty-nine years later, Pontius was captured by Fabias Maximus, that brave Sam- 
nite leader was disgracefully put to death as the triumphal chariot of the victor 
ascended to the Capitol. 

224 ROME. * [337 B.C. 

The final result of the Latin War (340-338 B.C.) was, 
in place of the old Latin League,* to merge the cities of 
Latium, one by one, into the Roman state. 

The three Samnite Wars (343-290 b. c.) occupied half a 
century, save only brief intervals, and were most obstinately 
contested. The long-doubtful struggle culminated at the 
great battle of Sentinum. Samnium became a subject-ally. 
Rome was noiv mistress of central Italy. She had fairly 
entered on her career of conquest. 

War with Pyrrhus (280-276 b. c.).— The rising city 
next came into conflict with the Greek colonies in southern 
Italy. The Romans had made a treaty with Tarentum, 
promising not to send ships of war past the Lacinian prom- 
ontory. But, having a garrison in the friendly city of Thurii, 
the senate ordered a fleet to that place ; so one day, while the 
people of Tarentum were seated in their theatre witnessing 
a play, they suddenly saw ten Roman galleys sailing upon 
the forbidden waters. The audience in a rage left their 
seats, rushed, down to the shore, manned some ships, and 
pushing out sank four of the Roman squadron. The senate 
sent ambassadors to ask satisfaction. They reached Taren- 
tum, so says the legend, during a feast of Bacchus. Postu- 
mius, the leader of the envoys, made so many mistakes in 
talking Greek that the people laughed aloud, and, as he was 
leaving, a buffoon threw mud upon his white toga. The 
shouts only increased when Postumius, holding up his soiled 
robe, cried, ^' This shall be washed in torrents of your 
blood ! " War was now inevitable. Tarentum,! unable to 

* The Latin League (p. 216) was dissolved in the same year (338 b. c.) with the 
battle of Chgeronea (p. 149), 

t The Greek colonists retained the pride, though they had lost the simplicity, of 
their ancestors. They were effeminate to the last degree. " At Tarentum there were 
not enough .days in the calendar on which to hold the festivals, and at Sybaris they 
killed all the cocks lest they should disturb the inhabitants in their sleep." 


resist the " barbarians of the Tiber," appealed to the mother- 
country for help. Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, came over with 
twenty-five thousand soldiers and twenty elephants. For 
the first time the Roman legioji (p. 271) met the dreaded 
Macedonian phalanx. In vain the Roman soldiers sought 
to break through the bristling hedge, with their swords 
hewing off the pikes, and with their hands bearing them to 
the ground. To complete their discomfiture, Pyrrhus 
launched his elephants upon their weakened ranks. At 
the sight of that "new kind of oxen," the Roman cavalry 
fled in dismay. 

Pyrrhus won a second battle in the same way. He then 
crossed over into Sicily to help the Greeks against the Car- 
thaginians. When he returned, two years later, while at- 
tempting to surprise the Romans by a night attack, his 
troops lost their way, and the next morning, when weary 
with the march, they were assailed by the enemy. The 
once-dreaded elephants were frightened back by fire-brands, 
and driven through the Grecian lines. Pyrrhus was defeated, 
and, having lost nearly all his army, returned to Epirus.* 
The Greek colonies, deprived of his help, were subjugated in 
rapid succession. 

* Many romantic incidents are told of this war. As Pyrrhus walked over the 
battle-field and saw the Romans lying all with wounds in front and their countenances 
stem in death, he cried out, " With such soldiers I could conquer the world ! "— 
Cineas, whom Pyrrhus sent to Rome as an ambassador, returned, saying, " the city was 
like a temple of the gods, and the senate an assembly of kings."— Fabricius, who 
came to Pyrrhus's camp on a similar mission, was a sturdy Roman, who worked his 
own farm, and loved integrity and honor more than aught else, save his country. 
The Grecian leader was surprised to find in this haughty barbarian that same great- 
ness of soul that had once made the Hellenic character so famous. He offered him 
" more gold than Rome had ever possessed " if he would enter his service, but Fabri- 
cius replied that " Poverty, with a good name, is better than wealth." Afterward 
the physician of Pyrrhus offered to poison the king. But the indignant Roman sent 
back the traitor in irons. Pyrrhus, not to be outdone in generosity, set free all his 
captives, saying, that " it was easier to turn the sun from its course than Fabricius 
from the path of honor."— Dentatus, the consul who defeated Pyrrhus, was offered 
by the grateful senate a tract of land. He replied that he already had seven acres, 
and that was sufficient for any citizen. 

226 ROME. [265 BC. 

Rome was now Mistress of peninsular Italy. She was 
ready to begin her grand course of foreign conquest. 

The Roman Government in Italy was that of one city 
supreme over many cities. Rome retained the rights of de- 
claring war, making peace, and coining money, but permitted 
her subjects to manage their local affairs. All were required 
to furnish soldiers to fight under the eagles of Rome. There 
were three classes of inhabitants, Roman citizens, Latins, 
and Italians. The Roman citizens were those who occupied 
the territory of Rome proper, including others upon whom 
this franchise had been bestowed. They had the right to 
meet in the Forum to enact laws, elect consuls, etc. The 
Latins had only a few of the rights of citizenship, and the 
Italians or allies none. ' As the power of Rome grew, Roman 
citizenship acquired a might and a meaning [Acts xxii. 25 ; 
xxiii. 37 ; xxv. 11-21) which made it eagerly sought by every 
person and city ; it was constantly held out, as a reward for 
special service and devotion, that the Italian could be made 
a Latin, and the Latin a Roman. 

The Romans were famous road-builders, and the great 
national highways which they constructed throughout their 
territories did much to tie them together (p. 282). By 
their use Rome kept up constant communication with all 
parts of her possessions, and could quickly send her legions 
wherever wanted. 

A portion of the land in each conquered state was given 
to Roman colonists. They became the patricians in the 
new city, the old inhabitants counting only as plebs. Thus 
little Romes were built all over Italy. The natives looked 
up to these settlers, and, hoping to obtain similar rights, 
quickly adopted their customs, institutions, and language. 
So the entire peninsula rapidly assumed a uniform^ national 


THE PUjSTIO* wars. 

Carthage (p. 76) was now the great naval and colonizing 
power of the western Mediterranean. She had established 
some settlements in western Sicily, and these were almost 
constantly at war with the Greeks on the eastern coast. As 
Sicily lay between Carthage and Italy, it was natural that 
two such aggressive powers as the Carthaginians and the Ko- 
mans should come to blows on that island. 

First Punic War (264-241 b. c). — Some pirates seized 
Messana, the nearest city to Italy, and, being threatened by 
the Carthaginians and the Syracusans, asked help of Rome, 
in order to retain their ill-gotten possessions. On this 
wretched pretext an army was sent into Sicily. The Car- 
thaginians were driven back, and Hiero, king of Syracuse, 
was forced to make a treaty with Eome. Agrigentum, an 
important naval depot belonging to Carthage, was then cap- 
tured, in spite of a large army of mercenary soldiers which 
the Carthaginians sent to its defence. 

Rome's First Fleet (260 B.c.).f — The Eoman senate, not 
content with this success, was bent on contesting with Car- 
thage the supremacy of the sea. One hundred and thirty 
vessels were accordingly built in sixty days, a stranded 
Phoenician galley being taken as a model. To compensate 
the lack of skilled seamen, the ships were provided with 
drawbridges, so that coming at once to close quarters their 
disciplined soldiers could rush upon the enemies' deck, and 
decide the contest by a hand-to-hand fight. They thus beat 

* From jmnicus, an adjective derived from Pceni, the Latin form of the word 

t The Romans began to construct a fleet as early as 338 b. c, and, in 267, we read 
of the questors of the navy, but the vessels were small, and Kome was a land-power 
until 260 B. c. 


the Carthaginians in two great naval battles within four 

Romans Cross the Sea. — Under Regulus the Romans then 
crossed the Mediterranean, and " carried the war into Africa." 
The natives, weary of the oppressive rule of the Carthaginians, 
welcomed their deliverers. Carthage seemed about to fall, 
when the presence of one man turned the tide. Xanthippus, 
a Spartan general, led the Carthaginians to victory, destroyed 
the Roman army, and captured Regulus. * 

After this the contest dragged on for several years ; but a 
signal victory near Panormus, in Sicily, gave the Romans 
the ascendency in that island, and finally a great naval defeat 
6fE the JEgusa Islands cost the Carthaginians the empire of 
the sea. Carthage was forced to give up Sicily, and pay 
three thousand two hundred talents of silver (about four 
million dollars) toward the expenses of the war. The 
temple of Janus was shut for the first time since the days 
of Numa. 

Rome^s first province was Sicily. This was governed, like 
all the possessions which she afterward acquired outside of 
Italy, by magistrates sent each year from Rome. The people, 
being made not allies but subjects, were required to pay an 
annual tribute. 

* It is said that Eegulus, while at the height of his success, asked permission to 
return home to his little farm, as a slave had run away with the tools, and his family 
was likely to suffer with want during his absence. After his capture, the Cartha- 
ginians sent him to Rome with proposals of peace, making him swear to return in 
case the conditions were not accepted. On his arrival, he refused to enter the city, 
saying that he was no longer a Roman citizen, but only a Carthaginian slave. Having 
stated the terms of the proposed peace, to the amazement of all, he urged their re- 
jection, as unworthy of the glory and honor of Rome. Then, without visiting his 
home, he turned away from weeping wife and children, and went back to his prison 
again. The enraged Carthaginians cut off his eyelids, and exposed him to the burn- 
ing rays of a tropic sun ; and then thrust him into a barrel studded with sharp nails. 
So perished this martyr to his word and his country.— Historic research throws 
doubt on the truth of this instance of Punic cruelty, and asserts that the story was 
invented to excuse the barbarity with which the wife of Regulus treated some Car- 
thaginian captives who fell into her hands ; but the name of Regulus lives as the per- 
sonification of sincerity and patriotic devotion. 

330 ROMf. [218 B.C. 

Second Punic War (218-201 b.c). — During the ensuing 
peace of twenty- three years, Hamilcar (sur named Barca, 
lightning), the great statesman and general of Carthage, 
built up an empire in southern Spain, and trained an army 
for a new struggle with Eome. He hated that city with a 
perfect hatred. When he left home for Spain, he took with 
him his son Hannibal, a boy nine years old, having first 
made him swear at the altar of Baal always to be the enemy 
of the Eomans. That childish oath was never forgotten, 
and Hannibal, like his father, had but one purpose — to 
humble his country's rival. When twenty-six years of age, 
he was made commander-in-chief of the Carthaginian army. 
Pushing the Punic power northward, he captured Sagunturh, 
As that city was her ally, Rome promptly declared war against 
Carthage.* On the receipt of this welcome news, Hannibal, 
with the daring of genius, resolved to scale the Alps, and 
carry the contest into Italy. 

Invasion of Italy. — In the spring of the year 218 b. c, he 
set outf from New Carthage. Through hostile tribes, over 
the swift Rhone, he pressed forward to the foot of the Alps. 
Here dangers multiplied. The mountaineers rolled down 
rocks upon his column, as it wearily toiled up the steep ascent. 
Snow blocked the way. At times the crack of a whip would 
bring down an avalanche from the impending heights. The 
men and horses slipped on the sloping ice-fields, and slid 
over the precipices into the awful crevasses. New roads had 
to be cut through the solid rock by hands benumbed with 

* An embassy came to Carthage demanding that Hannibal should be surrendered. 
This being refused, M. Fabius, folding up his toga as if it contained something, 
exclaimed, " I bring you peace or war; take which you will I" The Carthaginians 
answered, " Give us which you wish I " Shaking open his toga, the Roman haughtily 
replied, " I give you war 1 " " So let it be ! " shouted the assembly. 

t Before starting on this expedition, Hannibal went with his immediate attendants 
to Gades, and offered sacrifice in the temples for the success of the great work to 
which he had been dedicated eighteen years before, and to which he had been looking 
forward so long. 



cold and weakened with hunger. When at 
last he reached the smiling plains of Italy, 
only twenty-six thousand men were left of 
the one hundred and two thousand with 
whom he began the perilous march five 
months before. 

Battles of Trebia, 
Trasime'nus, and Can- 
nee. — Arriving at the 
river Trebia in Decem- 
.ber, Hannibal found 
the Komans, under 
Sempronius, ready to 
dispute his progress. 
One stormy morning, he sent the 
light Numidian cavalry over to 

2S^ ROME. [218 B.C. 

make a feigned attack on the enemy's camp. The Romans 
fell into the snare, and pursued the horsemen back across 
the river. When the legions, stiff with cold and faint 
with hunger, emerged from the icy waters, they found the 
Carthaginian army drawn up to receive them. Undismayed 
by the sight, they at once joined battle ; but, in the midst 
of the struggle, Hannibal's brother Mago fell upon their 
rear with a body of men which had been hidden in a reedy 
ravine near by. The Romans, panic-stricken, broke and 

The fierce Gauls now flocked to Hannibal's camp, and 
remained his active allies during the rest of the war. 

The next year Hannibal moved southward.* One day in 
June, the consul Flaminius was eagerly pursuing him along 
the banks of the Lake Trasimenus. Suddenly, through the 
mist, the Carthaginians poured down from the heights, and 
put the Romans to rout.f 

Fabius was now appointed dictator. Keeping on the 
heights where he could not be attacked, he followed Hanni- 
bal everywhere,^ cutting off his supplies, but never hazarding 
a battle. The Romans became impatient at seeing their 
country ravaged while their army remained inactive, and 
Varro, the consul, offered battle on the plain of Cannw. 
Hannibal drew up the Carthaginians m the shape of a half- 
moon having the convex side toward the enemy, and tipped 

* In the low flooded grounds along the Arno the army suffered fearfully. Hanni- 
bal himself lost an eye by inflammation, and, it was said, his life was saved by the' 
last remaining elephant, which carried him out of the swamp. 

\ So fierce was this struggle that none of the combatants noticed the shock of a 
severe earthquake which occurred in the midst of the battle. 

X While Hannibal was ravaging the rich plains of Campania, the wary Fabius 
seized the passes of the Apennines, through which Hannibal must recross into Sam- 
nium with his booty. The Carthaginian was apparently caught in the trap. But his 
mind was fertile in devices. He fastened torches to the horns of two thousand oxen, 
and sent men to drive them up the neighboring heights. The Romans at the defiles 
thinking the Carthaginians were trying to escape over the hills, ran to the defence. 
Hannibal quickly seized the passes, and marched through with his army. 


the horns of the crescent with his veteran cavalry. The 
massive legions quickly broke through his weak center. But 
as they pressed forward in eager pursuit, his terrible horse- 
men fell upon their rear. Hemmed in on all sides, the 
Eomans could neither fight nor flee. Twenty-one tribunes, 
eighty senators, and over seventy thousand men fell in that 
horrible massacre. After the battle, Hannibal sent to Car- 
thage a bushel of gold rings — the ornaments of Koman 
knights. At Rome all was dismay. ^' One-fifth of the 
citizens able to bear arms had fallen within eighteen months, 
and in every house there was mourning." All southern Italy, 
including Capua, the city next in importance to the capital, 
joined Hannibal. 

HannibaVs Reverses, — The tide of Hannibal's victories, 
however, ebbed from this time. The Eoman spirit rose in 
the hour of peril, and, while struggling at home for exist- 
ence, the senate sent armies into Sicily, Greece, and Spain. 
The Latin cities remained true, not one revolting to the Car- 
thaginians. The Eoman generals had learned not to fight 
in the open field, where Hannibal's cavalry and genius were 
so fatal to them, but to keep behind walls, since Hannibal 
had no skill in sieges, and his army was too small to take 
their strongholds. Hannibal's brother Hasdrubal was busy 
fighting the Eomans in Spain, and could send him no aid. 
The Carthaginians also were chary of Hannibal, and refused 
him help. 

For thirteen years longer Hannibal remained in Italy, but 
he was at last driven into Bruttium — the toe of the Italian 
boot. Never did his genius shine more brightly. He con- 
tinually sallied out to protect his allies, or to plunder and 
devastate. Once he went so near Eome that he hurled a 
javelin over its walls. Nevertheless, and in spite of his 
efforts, Capua was retaken. Syi-acuse promised aid, but was 

234 HOME. [213 B.C. 

captured by the Eoman army.* Hasdrubal finally managed 
to get out of Spain and cross the Alps, but at the Metaurus \ 
(207 B. c.) was routed and slain. The first notice Hannibal 
had of his brother's approach was when Hasdrubal's head 
was thrown into the Carthaginian camp. At the sight of 
this ghastly memorial, Hannibal exclaimed : '' Ah Carthage, 
I behold thy doom!" 

Hannihal Recalled. — P. Scipio, who had already expelled 
the Carthaginians from Spain, now carried the war into 
Africa. Carthage was forced to summon her great general 
Jfrom Italy. He came to her defence, but met the first defeat 
of his life in the decisive battle of Zama, On that fatal field 
the veterans of the Italian wars fell, and Hannibal himself 
gave up the struggle. Peace was granted Carthage on her 
paying a crushing tribute, and agreeing not to go to war 
without the permission of Eome. Scipio received the name 
Africanus, in honor of his triumph. 

Fate of Hannibal. — On the return of peace, Hannibal, 
with singular wisdom, began the reformation of his native 
city. But his enemies, by false representations at Rome, 
compelled him to quit Carthage, and take refuge at the 
court of Antiochus (p. 237). When at length his patron 
was at the feet of their common enemy, and no longer able 
to protect him, Hannibal fled to Bithynia, where, finding 
himself still pursued by the vindictive Romans, he ended his 

* The siege of Syracuse (214-212 B. c.) is famous for the genius displayed in its 
defence by the mathematician Arciiimedes. He is said to have fired the Roman fleet 
by means of immense burning-glasses, and to have contrived machines that reaching 
huge arms over the wails, graspe:! and overturned the galleys. The Romans became 
so timid that they would " flee at the sight of a stick thrust out at them." When the 
city was finally taken by storm, Mttrcellus gave orders to spare Archimedes. But a 
soldier rushing into the philosopher's study found an old man, who, not noticing his 
drawn sword, bade him " Noli turbare circulos meos." Enraged by his indifference, 
the Roman slew him on the spot. 

t This engagement, which decided the issue of Hannibars invasion of Italy, is 
reckoned among the most impoitaut in the history of the world. See Creasy' s Fif- 
teen Decisive Battles, p. 96. 


days by taking poison, which he carried with him in a hollow 

Third Punic War (149-146 b. c.).— Half a century 
passed, during which Carthage was slowly recovering her 
former prosperity. A strong party at Eome, however, was 
bent upon her destruction.* On a slight pretence war was 
again declared. The submission of the Carthaginians was 
abject. They gave up three hundred hostages, and surren- 
dered their arms and armor. But when bidden to leave the 
city that it might be razed, they were driven to desperation. 
Old and young toiled at the forges to make new weapons. 
Vases of gold and silver, even the statues of the gods, were 
melted. The women braided their long hair into bow-strings. 
The Eomans intrusted the siege to the younger Scipio.f He 
captured Carthage, after a desperate struggle. Days of con- 
flagration and plunder followed. The city, which had lasted 
over seven hundred years and numbered seven hundred 
thousand inhabitants, was utterly wasted. The Carthaginian 
territory was turned into the province of Africa. J 

* Prominent amonor these was Cato tke Censor. This rough, stem man, with his 
red hair, projecting teeth, and coarse robe, was the sworn foe to luxury, and the per- 
sonification of the old Roman character. Cruel toward his slaves and revengeful 
toward his foes, he was yet rigid in morals, devoted to his country, and fearless in 
punishing crime. In the discharge of his duty as censor, he criticised the income 
and expenses of all. Rich furaiture, jewels, and costly attire fell under his ban. He 
even removed, it is said, the cold-water pipes leading to the private houses. Jealous 
of any rival to Rome, he finished every speech with the words, " Delenda est Car- 
thago ! " In PlutarcKs Lives (p. 177), Cato is the counterpart of Aristides (p. 128). 

t (1.) Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus Major (p. 234) was the conqueror of 
Hannibal. (2.) Publius Cornelius Scipio yEmilianus Africanus Minor, the one spoken 
of in the text as the destroyer of Carthage, was the son of Lucius ^milius Paullus, 
the conqueror of Macedon (p. 236), and was adopted by P. Scipio, the son of Africanus 
Major. (3.) Lucius Cornelius Scipio Asiadcus, who defeated Antiochus (p. 237), and 
hence received the last title, was the brother of Africanus Major, 

t When Scipio beheld the ruin of Carthage, he is said to have burst into tears, and 
turning to Polybius the historian, quoted the lines of Homer: 

" The day will come when Troy shall sink in fire 
And Priam's people with himself expire." 
And, reflecting on the mutations of time, declared that Hector's words might yet 
prove true of Rome herself. 

236 ROME. [146 B.C. 

Eome was at last victor over her great rival. It was de- 
cided that Europe was not to be given over to Punic civiliza- 
tion and the intellectual despotism of the East. 

Wars in Macedon and Greece. — While Hannibal was 
hard-pressed in Italy he made a treaty with Philip, king of 
Macedon, and a descendant of Alexander. In the First War 
which ensued (214-207 b. c), not much of importance oc- 
curred, but Rome had begun to mix in Grecian affairs, and 
that, according to her wont, meant conquest by and by. 

The Second War (200-197 B. c.) was brought about by 
Philip's attacking the Eoman allies. The consul Flaminius 
now entered Greece, proclaiming himself the champion of 
Hellenic liberty. Transported with this thought, nearly all 
Hellas ranged itself under the eagles of Eome. Philip was 
overthrown at the battle of Cynosceplialm (197 b. c), and 
forced to accept a most degrading peace. 

After Philip's death, his son Perseus was indefatigable in 
his efforts to restore Macedon to its old-time glory. 

Tlie Third Tfar (171-168 B.C.) culminated in the battle 
of Pydna, where the famous Eoman general Paullus van- 
quished forever the cumbersome phalanx, and ended the 
Macedonian monarchy. One hundred and fifty-six years 
after Alexander's death, the last king of Macedon was led 
in triumph by a general belonging to a nation of which, 
probably, the Conqueror had scarcely heard. 

The results of these wars were reaped within a brief period. 
The Federal Unions of Greece were dissolved. Macedon was 
divided into four commonwealths, and finally, under pre- 
tence of a rebellion, made a Eoman province (148 b. c). In 
the same year that Carthage fell, Corinth,* the great seaport 

* Mummius, the consul who took Corinth, which Cicero termed " The eye of 
Hellas," sent its wealth of statues and pictures to Rome. It is said that, ignorant of 
the unique value of these works gf art, he agreed with the captains of the vessels to 
furnish others in place of any they should lose on the voyage. One can but remem- 


of the Eastern Mediterranean, was sacked, and Greece her- 
self, after being amused for a time with the semblance of 
freedom, was organized into the province of Achaia. 

Ssrrian War (192-190 b. c). — '^Macedon and Greece 
proved easy stepping-stones for Rome to meddle in the affairs 
of Asia." At this time Anti'ochus the Great governed the 
kingdom of the Seleucidae (p. 155), which extended from 
the JEgean, beyond the Tigris. His capital, Antioch on the 
Orontes, was the seat of Greek culture, and one of the chief 
cities of the world. He was not unwilling to measure 
swords with the Romans, and received Hannibal at his court 
with marked honor. During the interval between the 
second and third Macedonian wars the ^tolians, thinking 
themselves badly used by the Romans, invited Antiochus to 
come over to their help. He despised the wise counsel and 
military skill of Hannibal, and, appearing in Greece with 
only ten thousand men, was easily defeated by the Romans at 
Thermopyloe. The next year, L. Scipio (note, p. 235) fol- 
lowed him into Asia, and overthrew his power on the field 
of Magnesia (190 B.C.). 

The great empire of the Seleucidae now shrank to the 
kingdom of Syria. Though the Romans did not at present 
assume formal control of their conquest, yet, by a shrewd 
policy of weakening the powerful states, playing off small 
ones against one another, supporting one of the two rival fac- 
tions, and favoring their allies, they taught the Greek cities 
in Asia Minor to look up to the great central power on the 
Tiber just as, by the same tortuous course, they had led 
Greece and Macedon to do. Thus the Romans aided Per- 
gamus, and enlarged its territories, because its king helped 
them against Antiochus. Finally, when Attains III. died, 

ber, however, that this ignorant plebeian maintained his honesty, and kept none of 
the rich spoils for himself. 

238 BOME. [133B.C. 

he left that country by will to the Romans. So Eome got 
her first Asiatic province (133 b. c). 

War in Spain. — After the capture of Carthage and 
Corinth, Rome continued her efforts to subdue Spain. The 
rugged nature of the country, and the braverv of the inhab- 
itants, made the struggle a doubtful one. The town of 
Numantia held out long against the younger Scipio (note, 
p. 235). Finally, in despair, the people set fire to the place 
and threw themselves into the flames. When the Romans 
forced an entrance through the walls, they found silence and 
desolation withm. Spain now became a Roman province — 
the same year of Attalus's bequest, and thirteen years after 
the fall of Carthage and Corinth. 

The Roman Empire (133 b. c.) included southern 
Europe from the Atlantic to the Bosporus, and a part of 
northern Africa ; while Syria, Egypt, and Asia Minor were 
practically its dependencies. The Mediterranean Sea was a 
" Roman lake," and Rome ivas mistress of the civilized world. 
Henceforth her wars were principally with barbarians. 

EflFect of these Conquests. — Italy had formerly been 
covered with little farms of a few acres each, which the in- 
dustrious, frugal Romans cultivated with their own hands. 
When Hannibal swept the country with fire and sword, he 
destroyed these comfortable, rural homes throughout entire 
districts. The people, unable to get a living, flocked to 
Rome. There, humored, flattered, and fed by every dema- 
gogue who wished their votes, they sank into a mere mob. 
The Roman race itself was fast becoming extinct.* It had 

* " At the time when all the kings of the earth paid homage to the Romans, this 
people was hecoming extinguished, consumed by the double action of eternal war, 
and of a devouring system of legislation ; it was disappearing from Italy. The Ro- 
man, passing his life in camps, beyond the seas, rarely returnei to visit his little field. 
He had inmost cases, indeed, no land or shelter at all, nor any other domestic gods 
than the eagles of the legions. An exchange was becoming established between Italy 
and the provinces. Italy sent her children to die in distant lands, and received in 


perished on its hundred battle-fields. Kome was inhabited 
by a motley population from all lands, who poorly filled the 
place of her ancient heroes. 

The captives in these various wars had been sold as slaves, 
and the nobles, who had secured most of the land, worked it 
by their unpaid labor. Everywhere in the fields were gangs 
of men, whose only crime was that they had fought for their 
homes, tied together with chains ; and, tending the flocks, 
were gaunt, shaggy wretches, carrying the goad in hands 
which had once wielded the sword. 

The riches of Syracuse, Carthage, Macedonia, Greece, and 
Asia poured into Rome. Men who went to foreign wars 
as poor soldiers came back with enormous riches— the 
spoils of sacked cities. The nobles were rich beyond every 
dream of republican Rome. But, meanwhile, the poor grew 
poorer yet, and the curse of poverty ate deeper into the 

A few wealthy families governed the senate and filled all 
the offices. Thus a new nobility, founded on money alone, 
had grown up and become all-powerful. It was customary 
for a candidate to amuse the people with costly games, and 
none but the rich could afford the expense. The consul, at 
the end of his year of office, was usually appointed governor 
of a province, where out of an oppressed people he could 
recompense himself for all his losses. To keep the Roman 
populace in good humor, he would send back gifts of grain, 
and, if any complaint was made of his injustice and robbery, 
he could easily bribe the judges and senators, who were 
anxious only for the same chance which he had. 

compensation millions of slaves. Thus a new people succeeded to the ahsent or 
destroyed Roman people. Slaves took the place of masters, proudly occupied the 
Forum, and in their fantastic saturnalia governed by their decrees the Latins and the 
Italians, who filled the legions. It was soon no longer a question where were the 
plebeians of Rome. They had left their bones on every shore. Camps, umc, and 
immortal roads— these were all that remained of th^m, "—Mkhelet, 



In the early days of the republic, the soldier was a citizen 
who went forth to fight his country's battles, and, returning 
home, settled down again upon his little farm, contented 
and happy. Military life had now become a profession. 
Patriotism was almost a forgotten virtue, and the soldier 
fought for plunder and glory. In the wake of the army 
followed a crowd of venal traders, who bought up the booty; 
contractors, who "farmed" the revenues of the provinces; 
and usurers, who preyed on the necessities of all. These 
rich army-followers were known as knights {equites), since 
in the early days of Eome the richest men fought on horse- 
back. They rarely took part in any war, but only reaped 
its advantages. The presents of foreign kings were no 
longer refused at Rome ; her generals 
and statesmen - demanded money wher- 
ever they went. Well might Scipio 
Africanus, instead of praying to the 



gods, as was the custom, to increase the state, beg them to 
preserve it ! 

In this general decadence the fine moral fibre of the nation 
lost its vigor. First, the people left their own gods and took 
up foreign ones. As the ancients had no idea of a common 
god of all nations, such a desertion of their patron deities 
was full of significance. It ended in a general scepticism 
and neglect of religious rites and w^orship. In addition, the 
Eomans became cruel and unjust. Nothing showed this 
more clearly than their refusal to grant the Eoraan franchise 
to the Latin cities, which stood by them so faithfully during 
Hannibal's invasion. Yet there were great men in Rome, 
and the ensuing centuries were the palmiest of her history. 


Now began a century of civil strife, during which the old 
respect for laws became weak, and parties obtained their end 
by bribery and bloodshed. 

The Gracchi. — The tribune Tiberius Gracchus,* per- 
ceiving the peril of the state, secured a new agrarian law 
(p. 216), directing the public land to be assigned in small 
farms to the needy, so as to give every man a homestead ; 
and, in addition, he proposed to divide the treasures of 
Attains among those who received land, in order to enable 
them to build houses and buy cattle. But the oligarchs 
aroused a mob by which Gracchus was assassinated. 

* Cornelia, the mother of Tiberius and Caius Gracchus, was the daughter of Scipio 
Africanus the Elder (note, p. 235). Left a widow, she was offered marriage with the 
king of Egypt, but preferred to devote herself to the education of her children. 
When a rich friend once exhibited to her a cabinet of rare gems, she called in her 
two sons, saying, " These are my jewels." Her statue bore the inscription by which 
she wished to be known, " The mother of the Gracchi."— Tiberius was the grandson 
of the Conqueror of Hannibal, the son-in-law of Appiue Claudias, and the l?rother-iu- 
law of the Destroyer of Carthage, 

242 ROME 

[123 B. c. 

About ten years later, his brother Caius tried to carry out 
the same reform, by distributing grain to the poor at a 
nominal price (the " Eoman poor-law "), by choosing juries 
from the knights instead of the senators, and by planting 
in conquered territories colonies of men who had no work 
at home. All went well until he sought to confer the 
Eoman franchise upon the Latins. Then a riot was raised, 
and Caius was killed by a faithful slave to prevent his falling 
into the hands, of his enemies. 

With the G-racchi perished the freedom of the republic ; 
henceforth the corrupt aristocracy was supreme. 

Jugurtha (118-104 B.C.) having usurped the throne of 
Numidia, long maintained his place by conferring lavish 
bribes upon the senators. His gold conquered every army 
sent against him, and he declared that Rome itself could be 
had for money. He was finally overpowered by the consul 
Caius Marius,* and, after adorning the victor's triumph at 
Rome, thrown into the Mamertine prison to perish, f 

The Cimbri and Teutones (113-101 B.C.), the van- 
guard of those northern hosts that were yet to overrun the 
empire, were now moving south, half a million strong, 
spreading dismay and ruin in their track. Six different 
Roman armies tried in vain to stay their advance. At Orange 
alone eighty thousand Romans fell. In this emergency, the 
senate appealed to Marius, who, contrary to law, was again 
and again reinstated consul. He annihilated the Teutones 
at Aix, and, the next year, the Cimbri at VerceUce. In the 
latter engagement, the men composing the outer line of the 

* Lucius Cornelius Sulla, the Roman questor (p. 243), captured Jugurtha by- 
treachery. Claiming that he was the real hero of this war, he had a ring engraved 
which i-epresented Jugurtha's surrender to him. Marius and Sulla were henceforth 
bitter rivals. 

+ This famous dungeon is still shown the traveler at Rome. It is an underground 
vault, built of rough stones. The only opening is by a hole at the top. As Jugurtha, 
accustomed to the heat of an African sun, was lowered into this dismal grave, he 
exclaimed, with chattering teeth, " Ah, what a cold bath they are giving me ! " 


barbarian army were fastened together with chains, the whole 
making a solid mass three miles square. The Roman broad- 
sword mercilessly hewed its way through this struggling 
crowd. The Gallic women, in despair, strangled their 
children, and then threw themselves beneath the wheels of 
their wagons. The very dogs fought to the death. 

Rome was saved in her second great peril from barbarians. 
Marius was hailed as the "third founder of the city." 

Social War (90-88 b. c). — Drusus, a tribune, having 
proposed* that the Italians should be granted the coveted 
citizenship, was murdered the very day a vote was to be 
taken upon the measure. On hearing this, many of the 
Italian cities, headed by the Marsians, took up arms. The 
veteran legions, which had conquered the world, now faced 
each other on the battle-field. The struggle cost three hun- 
dred thousand lives. Houses were burned and plantations 
wasted as in Hannibal's time. In the end, Rome jj^as forced 
to allow the Italians to become citizens. 

First Mithridatic War (88-84 b. c.).— Just before the 
close of this bloody struggle, news came of the massacre of 
eighty thousand Romans and Italians residing in the towns 
of Asia Minor. Mithri dates the Great, king of Pontus, 
and a man of remarkable energy and genius, had pro- 
claimed himself the deliverer of Asia from the Roman 
yoke, and kindled the fires of insurrection as far westward 
as Greece. The war against the Pontic monarch was confided 
to Sulla, who stood at the head of the Roman aristocracy. 
But Marius, the favorite leader of the people, by unscrupu- 
lous means wrested the command from his rival. There- 
upon Sulla entered Rome at the head of the army. For the 
first time, civil war raged within the walls of the city. 
Marius was driven into exile.* Sulla then crossed into 

* Marius, after many romantic adventures, was thrown into prison at Min- 

244 ROME. [87 B. c. 

Greece. He carried on fiye campaigns, mainly at his private 
expense, and finally restored peace on the condition that 
Mithridates should give up his conquests and his fleet. 

Return of Marius. — Meanwhile Cinna, one of the two 
consuls at Rome, recalled Marius, and together they entered 
the city with a body of men composed of the very dregs of 
Italy. The nobles and the friends of Sulla trembled at this 
triumph of the democracy. Marius now took a fearful 
vengeance for all he had suffered. He closed the gates, and 
went about with a body of slaves, who slaughtered every 
man at whom he pointed his finger. The principal senators 
were slain. The high-priest of Jupiter was massacred at the 
altar. The consul Octavius was struck down in his curule- 
chair. The head of Antonius, the orator, being brought to 
Marius as he sat at supper, he received it with joy, and 
embraced the murderer. Finally, the monster had himself 
declared (t)nsul, now the seventh time. Eighteen days after, 
he died ** drunk with blood and wine." (86 b. c.) 

Sulla's Proscriptions. — Three years passed, when the 
hero of the Mithridatic War returned to Italy with his vic- 
torious army. His progress was disputed by the remains of 
the Marian party and the Samnites, who had not laid down 
their arms after the Social War (p. 243). Sulla, however, 
swept aside their forces, and soon all Italy was prostrate 
before him. It was now the turn for the plebeians and the 
friends of Marius to fear. As Sulla met the senate, cries 
were heard in the neighboring circus. The senators sprang 
from their seats in alarm. Sulla bade them be quiet, remark- 

turase. One day a Cimbrian slave entered his cell to put him to death. The old man 
turned upon him with flashing eye, and shouted," Barest thou kill Caius Marius 1 " 
The Gaul, frightened at the voice of his nation's destroyer, dropped his sword and 
fled. Marius was soon set free by the sympathizing people, whereupon he crossed 
into Africa.' Receiving there an order from the praetor to leave the province, he sent 
back the well-known reply, " Tell Sextilius that you have seen Caius Marius sitting 
in exile among the ruins of Carthage." 

82b.c.] the political history. 245 

ing, ^' It is only some wretches undergoing the punishment 
they deserve." The ^Svretches" were six thousand of the 
Marian party, who were butchered in cold blood. " The 
porch of Sulla's house," says Collier, *^was soon full of 
heads." Daily proscription- lists were made out of those 
doomed to die, and the assassins were rewarded from the 
property of their victims. Wealth became a crime when 
murder was gain. *^ Alas," exclaimed one, ^^my villa is my 
destruction." In all the disaffected Italian cities the same 
bloody work went on. Whole districts were confiscated to 
make room for colonies of Sulla's legions. He had liimseK 
declared perpetual dictator — an office unused since the Punic 
Wars. He deprived the tribunes of the right of proposing 
laws, and sought to restore the good old times when, the 
patricians held power, thus undoing the reforms of centuries. 
To the surprise of all, however, he suddenly retired to private 
life, and gave himself up to luxurious ease. The civil wars 
of Marius and Sulla had cost Italy the lives of one hundred 
and fifty thousand citizens. 

Sertorius, one of the Marian party, betook himself to 
Spain, gained the respect and confidence of the Lusitanians, 
established among them a miniature Koman republic, and 
for seven years defeated every army sent against him. Even 
Pompey the Great was held in check. Treachery at last 
freed Eome from its enemy, Sertorius being slain at a 

Gladiatorial War (73-71 b. c). — A party of gladiators 
under Spartacus, having escaped from a training-school at 
Capua, took refuge in the crater of Vesuvius. Thither 
flocked slaves, peasants, and pirates, until they were strong 
enough to defeat consular armies, and for two years to rav- 
age Italy from the Alps to the peninsula. Crassus finally 
killed the rebel leader in a desperate battle, and put his fol- 

246 ROME. [71B.C. 

lowers to flight. A body of five thousand, trying to escape 
into Gaul, fell in with Pompey the Great as he was returning 
from Spain, and were cut to pieces. 

Pirates in these troublous times infested the Mediter- 
ranean, so as to interfere with trade and stop the supply of 
provisions at Eome. The whole coast of Italy was in con- 
tinual alarm. Parties of robbers landing dragged rich pro- 
prietors from their villas and seized high ofiicials, to hold 
them for ransom. Pompey, in a brilliant campaign of 
ninety days, cleared the seas of these buccaneers, and restored 

Great Mithridatic War (74-63 b. c.).— During Sulla's 
life the Roman governor in Asia causelessly attacked Mithri- 
dates, but being defeated and Sulla peremptorily ordering 
him to desist, this Second Mithridatic War soon ceased. 
The Third or Great War broke out after the dictator's 
death. The king of Bithynia having bequeathed his pos- 
sessions to the Romans, Mithridates justly dreaded this ad- 
vance of his enemies toward his own boundaries, and took 
up arms to prevent it. The Roman consul, Lucullus, de- 
feated the Pontic king, and drove him to the court of his 
son-in-law Tigranes, king of Armenia, who espoused his 
cause. Lucullus next overcame the allied monarchs. Mean- 
while this wise general sought to reconcile the Asiatics to the 
Roman government by legislative reforms, by a mild and 
just rule, and especially by checking the exactions of the 
farmers of the revenue. The soldiers of his own army, 
intent on plunder, and the equites at Rome deprived of 
their profits, were incensed against him, and secured his 

Pompey was now granted the power of a dictator in the 
East.* Jle made an alliance with the king of Parthia, thus 

♦ Cicero advocated this measure in the familiar oration, Pro Lege Manilia. 


threatening Mithridates by an enemy in the rear. Then, 
forcing the Pontic monarch into a battle, he defeated and, 
at last, drove him beyond the Caucasus. Pompey, returning, 
reduced Syria, Phoenicia, and Palestine. 

The spirit of Mithridates was unbroken, in spite of the 
loss of his kingdom. He was meditating a march around 
the Euxine, and an invasion of Italy from the northeast, 
when, alarmed at the treachery of his son, he took poison, 
and died a victim of ingratitude. By his genius and courage, 
he had maintained the struggle with the Komans for twenty- 
five years. * On reaching Rome, Pompey received a two-days 
triumph. Before his chariot, walked three hundred and 
twenty-four captive princes; and twenty thousand talents 
were deposited in the treasury as the spoils of conquest. 
Pom-pey was now at the height of his popularity, and might 
have usurped supreme power, but he lacked the energy and 

Catiline's Conspiracy (63 B.C.). — During Pompey's ab- 
sence at the East, Catiline, an abandoned young nobleman, 
had formed a wide-spread plot to murder the consuls, fire 
the city, and overthrow the government. Cicero, the 
orator^ exposed the conspiracy, f Whereupon, Catiline fled, 
and was soon after slain, fighting at the head of a band of 

The chief men of Rome now were Pompey, Crassus, 

* The armor which fitted the gigantic frame of Mithridates excited the wonder 
alike of Asiatic and Italian. As a runner, he overtook the fleetest deer ; as a rider, 
he broke the wildest steed ; as a charioteer, he drove sixteen-in-hand ; and, as a 
hunter, he hit his game with his horse at full o;allop. He kept Greek poets, historians, 
and philosophers at his court, and gave prizes, not only to the greatest eater and 
drinker, but to the merriest jester and the best singer. He ruled the twenty-two 
nations of his realm without the aid of an interpreter. He experimented on poisons 
and sought to harden his system to their effect. One day he disappeared from the 
palace and was absent for months. On his return, it appeared that he had wandered 
incognito through Asia Minor, studying the people and countiy. 

t The orations which Cicero pronounced at this time against Catiline are master- 
pieces of impassioned rhetoric, and are still studied by every Latin scholar. 


[60 B. c. 


ished, and Cato sent to Cyprus. 

Caesar,* Cicero, and Cato 
the Stoic — a great grand- 
son of the Censor. The 
first three formed a league, 
known as the Triumvirate 
(60 B. c). To cement this 
union, Pompey married 
Julia, Caesar's only daugh- 
ter. The triumvirs had 
everj^hing their own way. 
Caesar obtained the con- 
sulship, and, afterward, an 
appointment as goyernor 
of Gaul ; Cicero was ban- 

* Caesar was born 100 b. c. (according to Mommsen, 102 b. c). A patrician, he was 
yet a friend of the people. His aunt was married to Marius ; his wife Cornelia was the 
daughter of Cinna. During Sulla's proscription, he refused to divorce his wife at the 
bidding of the dictator, and only the intercession of powerful friends saved his life. 
Sulla detected the character of this youth of eighteen years, and declared, " There is 
more than one Marius hid in him." While on his way to Rhodes to study oratory, he 
was taken prisoner by pirates, but he acted more like their leader than captive, and, on 
being ransomed, headed a party which crucified them all. Having been elected pontiff 
during his absence at the East, he returned to Rome, He now became in succession 
quaestor, aedile, and i)ontifex maximus. His affable manners and boundless generosity 
won all hearts. As aedile, a part of his duty was to furnish amusement to the people, 
and he exhibited three hundred and twenty pairs of gladiators, clad in silver armor. 
His debts became enormous, the heaviest creditor being the rich Crassus, to whom 
half the senators are said to have owed money. Securing an appointment as praetor, 
at the termination of that office, according to the custom, he obtained a province. 
Selecting Spain, he there recruited his wasted fortune, and gained some military 
prominence. He then came back to Rome, relinquishing a triumph in order to enter 
the city and stand for the consulship. This gained, his next step was to secure a field 
where he could train an army, by whose help he might become master of Rome. 

It is a strange sight, indeed, to witness this spendthrift, pale and worn with the 
excesses of the capital, fighting at the head of his legions, swimming rivers, plunging 
through morasses, and climbing mountains— the hardiest of the hardy and the bravest 
of the brave. But it is stranger still to think of this great general and statesman as a 
literary man. Even when riding in his litter or resting, he was still reading or writ- 
ing, and often at the same time dictating to from four to seven amanuenses. Besides 
his famous Commentaries, published in the very midst of his eventful career, he 
composed works on rhetoric and grammar, as well as tragedies, lyrics, etc. His style 
is pure and natural, and the polished smoothness of his sentences gives no hint of 
the stormy scenes amid which they were formed. 

58 B.C.] 



C^SAR remained in Gaul 
about nine years. He re- 
duced the entire country, 
crossed the Rhine, carrying 
the Roman arms into Ger- 
many for the first time, 
and twice invaded Britain 
—an island until then un- 
known in Italy except by 
name. Not only were the 
three hundred tribes of 
Transalpine Gaul thorough- 
ly subdued, but they were 
made content with Caesar's 
rule. He became their civ- 
ilizer, building roads and 
introducing Roman laws, 
institutions, manners and 
customs. Moreover, he 
trained an army that knew 
no mind or will except that 
of its great general. Mean- 
while, Caesar's friends in 
Rome, with the Gallic spoils 
which he freely sent them, 
bribed and dazzled and in- 
trigued to sustain their 
master's power, and secure 
him the next consulship. 

Crassus was chosen 
joint-consul with Pompey 
(56 B. c.) ; he secured the 
province of Syria. Eager 
to obtain the boundless 
treasures of the East, he 
set out upon an expedition 
against Parthia. On the 
way, he plundered the tem- 
ple at Jerusalem, .While 
crossing the scorching 
plains beyond the Eu- 
phrates, not far from Char- 
rae (the Haran of the 
Bible), he was suddenly 
surrounded by clouds of 
Parthian horsemen. Ro- 
man valor was of no avail 
in that ceaseless storm of 
arrows. During the retreat, 
Crassus was slain. His 
head was carried to the 
Parthian king, who, in de- 
rision, ordered it to be filled 
with molten, gold. The 
death of Crassus ended the 

PoMPET, after a time, 
was elected joint-consul 
with Crassus, and,]ater,sole 
consul ; he obtained the 
province of Gaul, which he 
governed by legates. He 
now ruled Rome, but was 
bent on ruling the empire. 
The death of his wife had 
severed the link Avhich 
bound him to the conqueror 
of Gaul. He accordingly 
joined wdth the nobles, 
who were also aJarmed by 
Caesar's brilliant victories, 
and the strength his suc- 
cess gave the popular party. 
A law was therefore passed 
ordering Caesar to resign 
his oflice and disband his 
army before he appeared 
to sue for the consulship. 
The tribunes— Antony and 
Cassius— who supported 
Caesar, were driven from 
the senate. They fled to 
his camp, and demanded 

Civil War between Caesar and Pompey (49 b. c.).— 
Caesar at once marched upon Eome. Pompey had boasted 
that he had only to stamp his foot, and an army would 
spring from the ground ; but he now fled to Greece with- 
out striking a blow. In sixty days, Caesar was master of 
Italy. The decisive struggle between the two rivals took 
place on the plain of Pharsalia (48 B.C.). Pompey was 
beaten. He sought refuge in Egypt, where he was treach- 
erously slain. His head being brought to Caesar, the con- 
queror wept at the fate of his former friend. 

Caesar now placed the beautiful Cleopatra on the throne 
of the Ptolemies, and, marching into Syria, humbled 
Pharnaces, the son of Mithridates, so quickly that he 
could write home this laconic despatch, Veni, Vidi, Vici 
(I came, I saw, I conquered). Cato and other Pompeian 

250 ROME. [46 B.C. 

leaders had assembled a great force in Africa, whereupon 
Caesar hurried his conquering legions thither, and at Thapsus 
broke down all opposition (46 B. c). Cato, in despair of the 
republic, fell upon his sword. The sons of Pompey rallied 
an army in Spain, but, in the desperate conflict at Munda, 
Caesar blotted the broken remains of their party out of 
existence (45 B. c). 

Caesar returned to Rome before this final struggle in 
Spain. A four-days triumph reddened the sands" of the 
arena with the blood of wild beasts and gladiators. Every 
citizen received a present, and the populace regaled them- 
selves at a banquet spread on twenty-two thousand tables. 
The joy was unalloyed by any proscription. The adulation 
of the senate surpassed all bounds. . Caesar was created dic- 
tator for ten years and censor for three, and his statue was 
placed in the Capitol, opposite to that of Jupiter. 

Caesar's Government. — At Caesar's magic touch, order 
and justice sprang into new life. The provinces rejoiced in 
an honest administration. The Gauls obtained seats in the 
senate, and it was Caesar's design to have all the provinces 
represented in that body by their chief men. The calendar 
was revised.* The distress among the poor was relieved by 
sending eighty thousand colonists, to rebuild Corinth and 
Carthage. The number of claimants upon the public dis- 
tribution of grain was reduced over one-half. A plan was 
formed of digging a new channel for the Tiber and draining 
the Pontine marshes. ]S"othing was too vast or too small 
for the comprehensive mind of this mighty statesman. He 
could guard the boundaries of his vast empire along the 
Ehine, Danube, and Euphrates ; look after the paving of the 

* The Roman year contained only three hundred and fifty-five days, and the mid- 
summer and the mid-winter months then came in the spring and the fall. Julius 
Ceesar introduced the extra day of leap year, and July was named after him. See 
Fmrteen Weeks in Astronomy, p. 295. 

44 B. c] 



Eoman streets ; and listen to the recitation of pieces for 
prizes at the theatres, bestowing the wreath upon thcyictor, 
with extempore verse. 

Caesar's Assassination (44 b. c). — Caesar, now dictator 
for hfe, was desirous of being king in name as in fact. While 
passing through the streets one day, he was hailed king ; as 
the crowd murmured, he cried out, ^'I am not king, but 
Caesar.^' Stilly when Mark Antony, the consul and his inti- 
mate friend, at a festival, offered him a crown, Caesar seemed 
to thrust it aside reluctantly. The hatred of zealous 
republicans was excited, and, under the guise of a love of 
liberty and old Eoman virtue, those who were jealous of 
Caesar or hated him, formed a conspiracy for his assassination. 
Brutus and Cassius, the leaders, chose the fifteenth of the 
ensuing March for the execution of the deed. As the day 
approached, the air was thick with rumors ^f approaching 
disaster. A famous augur warned Caesar to beware of the 
Ides * of March. The night before, his wife Calpurnia was 
disturbed by an ominous 
dream. On the way to the 
senate-house he was handed 
a scroll containing the de- 
tails of the plot, but in 
the press he had no chance 
to read it. When the con- 
spirators crowded about 
him, no alarm was caused, 


as they were men who owed 

their lives to his leniency and their fortunes to his favor. 

* In the Roman calendar, the months were divided into thi'ee parts— Calends, Ides, 
and Nones. The Calends commenced on the first of each month, and were reckoned 
backward into the preceding month to the Ides. The Nones fell on the seventh of 
March, May, July, and October, and on the fifth of the other months. The Ides 
came on the thirteenth of all months except these four, when they were the fifteenth. 

252 ROME. [44 B.C. 

Suddenly, swords gleamed on every hand. For a moment, 
the great soldier defended himself with the sharp point of 
his iron pen. Then, catching sight of the loved and trusted 
Brutus, he exclaimed, "Et tu Brute !" (And thou, too, 
Brutus !) and, wrapping his mantle about his face, sank 
dead at the foot of Pompey's statue. * 

The result was very different from what the assassins had 
expected. The senate rushed out horror-stricken at the deed. 
The reading of Caesar's will, in which he gave every citizen 
three hundred sesterces (over ten dollars), and threw open 
his splendid gardens across the Tiber as a public park, roused 
the popular fury. When Antony pronounced the funeral 
eulogy, and, finally, held up Coesar's rent and bloody toga, 
the mob broke through every restraint, and ran Avith torches 
to burn the houses of the murderers. Brutus and Cassius 
fled to save their lives. 

Second Triumvirate (43 b. c). — Antony was fast get- 
ting power into his hand, when there arrived at Rome, 
Octavius, Caesar's great-nephew and heir. He received 
the support of the senate and of Cicero, who denounced 
Antony in fiery orations. Antony was forced into exile, 
and then, twice defeated in battle, took refuge with 

* Caesar's brief public life— for only five stirring years elapsed from his entrance 
into Italy to ills assassination— was full of dramatic scenes. Before marching upon 
Rome, it is said (though research stamps it as doubtful) that he stopped at the Rubicon, 
the boundary between^liis province of Cisalpine Gaul and Italy, and hesitated long. 
To pass it, was to make war upon the republic. At last, he shouted, " The die is 
cast ! " and plunged into the stream— When he had crossed into Greece in pursuit of 
Pompey, he became impatient at Antony's delay in bringing over the rest of the 
army, and, disguising himself, attempted to return across the Adriatic in a small boat. 
The sea ran high, and the crew determined to put back, when Caesar shouted, " Go on 
boldly, fear nothing, thou bearest Caesar and his fortune ! "—At the battle of Phar- 
ealia, he ordered his men to aim at the faces of Pompey's cavalry. The Roman 
knights, dismayed at this attack on their beauty, quickly fled ; after the victory, 
Caesar rode over the field calling upon the men to spare the Roman citizens, and on 
reaching Pompey's tent put his letters in the fire unread.— When Caesar learned of the 
death of Cato, he lamented the tragic fate of such high integrity and virtue, and ex- 
claimed, '• Cato, I envy thee thy death, since thou enviest me the glory of saving thy 


Lepidus, governor of a part of Spain and Gaul. Octavius 
returned to Eome, won the favor of the people, and, though 
a youth of only nineteen, was chosen consul. A triumvi- 
rate, similar to the one seventeen years before, was now 
formed between Antony, Octavius, and Lepidus. The bar- 
gain was sealed by a proscription more horrible than that of 
Sulla. Lepidus sacrificed his brother, Antony his uncle, 
and Octavius his warm supporter, Cicero. The orator's 
head having been brought to Rome, Fulvia thrust her golden 
bodkin through the tongue that had pronounced the Philip- 
pics against her husband Antony. 

Battle of Philippi (42 b. c.).— Brutus and Cassius, who 
had gone to the East, raised an army to resist this new 
coalition. The triumvirs pursued them, and the issue was 
decided on the field of Philippi. Brutus* and Cassius 
were defeated, and, in despair, committed suicide. Octavius 
and Antony divided the empire between them, the former 
taking the West, and the latter the East. Lepidus received 
Africa, but was soon stripped of his share and sent back to 

Antony and Cleopatra. — Antony now went to Tarsus, 
to look after his new possessions. Here, Cleopatra was 
summoned to answer for having supported Cassius against 
the triumvirs. She came, captivated Antony by her charms, f 

* Brutus, before this battle, was disheartened. The triumvirs had proved worse 
tyrants than he could ever have feared Csesar would become. He and Cassius quar- 
reled bitterly. His wife, Portia, had died (according; to some authorities) broken- 
hearted at the calamities which had befallen her country. One night, as he was sit- 
ting alone in his tent, musing over the troubled state of affairs, he suddenly per- 
ceived a gigantic figure standing before him. He was startled, but exclaimed, " What 
art thou, and for what purpose art thou come ? " "I am thine evil genius," replied 
the phantom ; " we shall meet again at Philippi 1 " 

t Cleopatra ascended the Cydnus in a galley with purple sails. The oars, inlaid 
with silver, moved to the soft music of flute and pipe. She reclined under a gold- 
spangled canopy, attired as Venus, and attended by nymphs, cupids, and graces. 
The air was redolent with perfumes. As she approached Tarsus, the whole city 
flocked to witness the magnificent sight, leaving Antony sitting alone in the tribunal. 

254 ROME. [41B.C 

and carried him to Egypt. They passed the winter in the 
wildest extravagance. Breaking away, however, for a time 
from the silken chains of Cleopatra, Antony, upon the 
death of Fulvia, married the beautiful and noble Octavia, 
sister of Octavius. But, at the first opportunity, he went 
back again to Alexandria, where he laid aside the dignity of 
a Eoman citizen and assumed the dress of an Egyptian 
monarch.* Cleopatra was presented with several provinces, 
and became the real ruler of the East. 

Civil War between Octavius and Antony (31 b.c). — 
The senate at last declared war against Cleopatra. There- 
upon, Antony divorced Octavia and prepared to invade Italy. 
The rival fleets met off the promontory of Ac' Hum. Cleo- 
patra fled with her ships early in the day. Antony, basely 
deserting those who were dying for his cause, followed her. 
When Octavius entered Egypt (32 B.C.), there was no resist- 
ance. Antony, in despair, stabbed himself. Cleopatra in 
vain tried her arts of fascination upon the conqueror. 
Finally, to avoid gracing his triumph at Kome, she put an 
end to her life, according to the common story, by the bite 
of an asp, brought in a basket of figs. Thus died the last 
of the Ptolemies. 

Result. — Egypt now became a province of Eome. With 
the battle of Actium, ended the Roman republic. Caesar 
Octavius was the undisputed master of the civilized world. 
After his return to Italy, he received the title of Augustus, 
by which name he is known in history. The Civil Wars 
were over. 

* The follies and wasteful extravagance of their mad revels at Alexandria almost 
surpass belief. One day, in Antony's kitchen, there are said to have been eight wild 
boars roasting whole, so arranged as to be ready at different times, that his dinner 
might be served in perfection whenever he should see fit to order it. On another 
occasion, he and the queen vied as to which could serve the more expensive banquet. 
Removing a magnificent pearl from her ear, she dissolved it io vinegar, and swal- 
lowed the priceless draught. 

31 B. C.J 




Establishment of the Empire. — After the clamor of 
a hundred years, a sweet silence seemed to fall upon the 
earth. The temple of Janus was closed for the second time 
since the pious Numa. Warned by the fate of Julius, 
Augustus did not take the name of king, nor startle the 
Roman prejudices by any sudden seizure of authority. He 

256 ROME. [31 B. c 

kept up all the forms of the republic. Every ten years, he 
went through the farce of laying down his rank as chief of 
the army, or imperator — a word since contracted to emperor. 
He professed himself the humble servant of the senate, 
while he really exercised absolute power. Gradually, all the 
offices of trust were centered in him. He became at once 
proconsul, consul, censor, tribune, and high priest.* 

Massacre of Varus (9 a. d.). — Germany, under the 
vigorous rule of Drusus and Tiberius, stepsons of Augustus, 
now seemed likely to become as thoroughly Romanized 
as Gaul had been. {Brief Hist. France, p. 11.) Varus, 
governor of the province, thinking the conquest complete, 
attempted to introduce the Latin language and laws. There- 
upon, Arminius, a noble, freedom-loving German, aroused 
his countrymen, and in the wilds of the Teutoburg Forest 
took a terrible revenge for the wrongs they had suffered. 
Varus and his entire army perished. Dire was the dismay 
at Rome when news came of this disaster. For days, 
Augustus wandered through his palace, beating his head 
against the wall, and crying, "Varus, give me back my 
legions ! " Six years later, the whitened bones of these hap- 
less warriors were buried by Germanicus (the son of Drusus, 
and step-son of Augustus), but with all his genius he could 
not restore the Roman authority in Germany, f 

The Augustan Age (31 b. C.-14 a.©.) was, however, one 
of general peace and prosperity. The emperor lived unos- 

* As consul, he became chief magistrate ; as censor, he could decide who were to 
be senators ; as tribune, he heard appeals, and his person was sacred ; as imperator, 
he commanded the army ; and, as pontifex maximns, or chief priest, he was the head 
of the national religion. These were powers originally belonging to the king, but 
which, during the republic, from a fear of centralization, had been distributed among 
different persons. Now the emperor gathered them up again. 

t Creasy reckons this among the twelve decisive battles of the world. " Had 
Arminius'been defeated," says Arnold, " onr German ancestors would have been en- 
slaved or exterminated, and the great English nation would have been struck out of 


tentatiouslj in his house, not in a palace, and his toga was 
woven bj his wife Livia and her maidens. He revived the 
worship of the gods. His chosen friends were men of 
letters. He beautified Rome, so that he could truly boast 
that he "found the city of brick, and left it of marble." 
There was now no fear of pirates or hostile fleets, and grain 
came in plenty from Egypt. The people were amused and 
fed ; hence they were contented. The provinces were well 
governed,* and many gained Roman citizenship. A single 
language became a universal bond of intercourse, and Rome 
began her work of civilization and education. Wars having 
so nearly ceased, and interest in politics having diminished, 
men turned their thoughts more toward literature, art, and 
religion. ^ 

The Birth of Christ, the central figure in all history, 
occurred during the Avide-spread peace of this reign. 

The Empire was, in general, bounded by the Euphrates 
on the east, the Danube and the Rhine on the north, the 
Atlantic Ocean on the west, and the deserts of Africa on the 
south. It comprised about a hundred millions of people, of 
perhaps a hundred different nations, each speaking its own 
language and worshipping its own gods. An army of three 
hundred and fifty thousand men held the provinces in check, 
while the Praetorian Guard of ten thousand protected the 
person of the emperor. The Mediterranean, which the 
Romans proudly called, " Our ow^n sea," served as a natural 
highway between the widely-sundered parts of this vast 
region, while the Roman roads, straight as an eagle's flight, 
bound every portion of the empire to its center. Every- 
where, the emperor's will was Ifiw. His smile or frown was 

* One day when Aagnetus was sailing in the Bay of Baiae, a Greek ship was pass- 
ing. The sailors, perceiving the emperor, stopped their vessel, arrayed themselves in 
white robes, and going on board his yacht, offered sacrifice to him as a god, saying, 
" You have given to us happiness. You have secured to us our lives and our goods," 



[1st cent. a. d. 

the fortune or ruin of a man, a city, or a province. His 
character determined the prosperity of the empire. 

Henceforth, the history of Rome is not that of the people, 
but of its emperors. * In the following pages, a brief account 
is given of the principal monarchs only ; a full list of the 
emperors may be found, however, on page 311. None of 
the early emperors was followed by his own son, but, accord- 
ing to the Roman law of adoption, they all counted as 
Caesars. Nero was the last of them at all connected with 
Augustus, even by adoption, though the emperors called 
themselves Caesar and Augustus to the last. After the death 
of Augustus, 


Tiberius (1 4 a. d.), his step-son, secured the empire' by 
a decree of the senate. The army on the Rhine would have 

* " Of the sixty-two emperors from Caesar to Constantine, forty-two were murdered, 
three committed suicide, two abdicated or were forced to abdicate, one was killed in 
a rebellion, one was drowned, one died in war, one died it is not known how, and no 
more than eleven died in the way of nature. Between the death of Caesar and the 
accession of Constantine, three hundred and nineteen years elapsed, giving to each 
Caesar an average reign of five years and two months. Comparing this rate of im- 
perial mortality against the usual terms of royal lives, the waste appears most strik- 
ing. The thirty-five sovereigns of England (omitting Cromwell as not affecting the 
return) since the Conquest have ' lived in the purple ' seven hundred and eighty-seven 
years— an average of over twenty-two years and five months. The kings of France, 
from Clovis to Louis Philippe, reigned, on the average, twenty-two years and two 
months. The German emperors, from the accession of Arnulf to the accession of 
Francis Joseph, each reigned nineteen years and three months. Even the czars of 
Russia, from Fedor to Nicholas, ruled for fourteen years and ten months e&ch.''—Ath. 


gladly given the throne to the noble Germanicus, but 
he declined the honor. Jealous of his kinsman, Tiberius, 
it is thought, afterward removed him by poison. The 
new emperor ruled for a time with much ability, yet soon 
proved to be a gloomy tyrant,* and finally retired to the 
island of Caprese, to practice in secret his infamous orgies. 
His favorite, the cruel and ambitious Sej'anus, prefect of 
the Prgetorian Guard, remained at Rome as the real ruler, 
but, having conspired against his master, he was thrown 
into the Mamertine prison and there strangled. Many of 
the best citizens fell victims to the emperor's suspicious 
disposition, and all, even the surviving members of his own 
family, breathed easier when news came of his sudden 

The great event of this reign was the crucifixion of Christ f 
at Jerusalem, under Pilate, Eoman jDrocurator of Judea. 

Caligula J; (37 a. d.) inherited some of his father's virtues, 
but he was weak-minded, and his history records only a 
madman's freaks. He made his favorite horse a consul, and 
provided him a golden manger. Any one at whom the 
emperor nodded his head or pointed his finger was at once 
executed. ^' Would," said he, *Hhat all the people at Rome 
had but one neck, so I could cut it off at a single blow." 

Nero (54 a. d.) assassinated his mother and wife. In the 
midst of a great fire which destroyed a large part of Rome, 
he chanted a poem to the music of his lyre, while he 
watched the flames. To secure himself against the charge 
of having at least spread the fire, he ascribed the confla- 

* His character resembled that of Louis XL See Brief History of France, p. 94. 

+ Over his cross was an inscription in three languages, significant of the three 
best developments then known of the human race — Roman law, Gbbek MmD, and 
Hebrew faith. 

X Caius, son of GennanicusandAgrip])ina — grand-flanghter of Augustus— received 
from the soldiers the nickname of Caligula, by which he is always known, because 
he wore little boots {caligulce) while with his father in camp on the Rhine. 

260 ROME. [1st cent. a. d 

gration to the Christians. These were cruelly persecuted,* 
St. Paul and St. Peter, according to tradition, being mar- 
tyred at this time. In rebuilding the city, Nero substi- 
tuted broad streets for the winding lanes in the hollow 
between the seven hills, and erected, in place of unsightly 
piles of brick and wood, handsome stone buildings, each 
block surrounded by a colonnade. 


Vespasian (69 a. d.) was made emperor by his army in 
Judea. An old-fashioned Roman, he sought to revive the 
ancient virtues of honesty and frugality. His son Titus, 
after the capture of Jerusalem (p. 85), shared the throne 
with his father, and finally succeeded to the empire. His 
generosity and kindness won him the name of the Delight 
of Mankind. He refused to sign a death-warrant, and pro- 
nounced any day lost in which he had not done some one a 
favor. During this happy period, the famous Colosseum at 
Rome was finished, and Agricola conquered nearly all 
Britain, making it a Roman province ; but Pompeii and 

* Some were crncifled. Some were covered with the skins of wild beasts, and 
worried to death by dogs. Some were thrown to the tigers and lions in the amphi- 
theatre. Gray-haired men were forced to fight with trained gladiators. Worst of all, 
one night Nero's gardens were lighted by Christians, who, their clothes having been 
smeared with pitch and ignited, were placed as blazing torches along the course on 
which the emperor, heedless of their agony, drove his chariot in the races. 


Herculaneum were destroyed by an eruption of Mount 

Domitian * (81 a. d.) was a second Nero or Caligula. His 
chief amusement was in spearing flies with a pin ; yet he 
styled himself '' Lord and God," and received divine honors. 
He banished the philosophers, and renewed the persecution 
of the Christians. At this time, St. John was exiled to the 
isle of Patmos. 

The Five Good Emperors (96-180 a. d.) now brought 
in the palmiest days of Rome. Nerva, a quiet, honest old 
man, distributed lands among the plebs, and taught them to 
work for a living. Trajan, a great Spanish general, con- 
quered the Dacians and many Eastern peoples ; founded 
public libraries and schools in Italy ; and tried to restore 
freedom of speech and simplicity of life, f Hadrian traveled 
almost incessantly over his vast empire, overseeing the gov- 
ernment of the provinces, and erecting splendid buildings. 
Antoninus Pius was a second Numa, by his love of Justice 
and religion diffusing the blessings of peace and order over 
the civilized world. Aurelius | was a philosopher and loved 
quiet. But the time of peace had passed. The Germans, 
pressed by the Slaves who lived in Russia, fled before them, 
and crossed the Roman frontiers as in the time of Marius. 
The emperor was forced to take the field in person, and died 
during the eighth winter-campaign. 

Decline of the Empire. — The most virtuous of men 
was succeeded by his son Commodus, a weak, vicious boy. 
An era of military despotism ensued. Murder became 

* Domitian is said to have once called together the senate to decide how a flsh 
should be cooked for his dinner. 

t Two centuries afterward, at the accession of each emperor, the senate wished 
that he might be " more fortunate than Augustus, more virtuous than Trajan." 

X M. Aurelius was the adopted son of Antoninus, and, after the death of his 
adoptive father, assumed Ills name, so that this period is known as the Age of the 

262 feoME. tl8<^A.B. 

domesticated in the palace of the Caesars. The Praetorian 
Guards put up the iinperial power at auction, and sold it to 
the highest bidder. The armies in the provinces declared 
for their favorite officers, and the throne became the stake 
of battle. Few of the long list of emperors who succeeded 
to the throne are worthy of mention. 

Septimlus Seve'rus (193 a. d.), a general in Germany, 
after defeating his rivals, ruled vigorously, though often 
cruelly. His triumphs in Parthia and Britain renewed the 
glory of the Eoman arms. 

Car'acal'lus (211 a. d.) would be remembered only for 
his ferocity, but that he gave the right of Eoman citizenship 
to all the provinces, in order to tax them for the benefit of 
his soldiers. This event marked an era in the history of 
the empire, and greatly lessened the importance of Eome. 

Alexander Seve'rus (222 a. d.) delighted in the society 
of the wise and good. He favored the Christians, and over 
the door of his palace were inscribed the words, '^Do unto 
others that which you would they should do unto you. " He 
won victories against the Germans and Persians (Sassanidae, 
p. 156), but, attempting to establish discipline in the army, 
was slain by his mutinous troops while he was yet only in 
the bloom of youth. 

The Barbarian G-oths, Germans, and Persians, who 
had so long threatened the empire, invaded it on every side. 
The emperor Decius was killed in battle by the Goths. 
Gallus bought peace by an annual tribute. Valerian was 
taken prisoner by the Persian king, who carried him about 
in chains, and used him as a footstool in mounting his horse. 
The temple at Ephesus was burned at this time by the Goths. 
During the general confusion, so many usurpers sprang up 
over the empire and established short-lived kingdoms, that 
this is "known as the Era of the Thirty Tyrants. 


The Illyrian Emperors (268-284 a. d.), however, rolled 
back the tide of invasion. Claudius vanquished the Goths 
in a contest which recalled the days of Marius and the Gauls. 
Aurelian drove the Germans into their native wilds, and de- 
feated Zenobia, the beautiful and heroic Queen of Palmyra, 
bringing her to Rome in chains of gold to grace his triumph. 
Prohus triumphed at the East and the West, and, turning to 
the arts of peace, introduced the vine into Germany, and 
taught the legions to work in vineyard and field. Diode' tian 
began a new method of government. To meet the swarm- 
ing enemies of the empire, he associated with himself his 
comrade-in-arms, Maximian ; each emperor took the title of 
Augustus, and appointed, under the name of Caesar, a brave 
general as his successor. War raged at once in Persia, 
Egypt, Britain, and Germany, but the four rulers vigilantly 
watched over their respective provinces, and the Roman 
eagles conquered every foe. 

In the year 303 A. d., the joint emperors celebrated the 
last triumph ever held at Rome. During the same year, also, 
began the last and most bitter persecution of the Christians,* 
so that tliis reign is called the Era of the Martyrs. 

Spread of Christianity. — The religion established in 
Judea by Christ, and preached during the 1st century by 
Paul and the other Apostles (see Ac^s of the Apostles), had 
now spread over the western empire. It was largely, how- 
ever, confined to the cities, as is curiously shown in the fact 
that the word pagan originally meant only a countryman. 
While the Romans tolerated the religious belief of every 
nation which they conquered, they persecuted the Christians 
alone. This was because the latter opposed the national 

* In 305 A. D., both emperors resigned the purple. Diocletian amused himself by 
working in his garden, and when Maximian sought to draw him out of his retire- 
ment, he wrote : " If you could see the cabbages I have planted with my own hand, 
you would never ask me to remount the throne." 

264 EOME. [4th CENT. A. D. 

religion of the empire, refused to offer sacrifice to its gods, 
and to worship its emperors. Moreover, the Christians 
absented themselves from the games and feasts, and were 
accustomed to hold their meetiogs at night, and often in 
secret. They were therefore looked upon as enemies of the 
state, and were persecuted by even the best rulers, as Trajan 
and Diocletian. This opposition, however, served only to 
strengthen the rising faith. The heroism of the martyrs 
extorted the admiration of their enemies. Thus, when Poly- 
carp was hurried before the tribunal and urged to curse 
Christ, he exclaimed *^ Eighty-six years have I served Him, 
and He has done me nothing but good ; how could I curse 
Him, my Lord and Saviour." And when the flames rose 
around him he thanked God that he was deemed worthy of 
such a death. With the decaying empire, heathenism grew 
weaker, while Christianity gained strength. As early as the 
reign of Septimins Severus, Tertullian declared that if the 
Christians were forced to emigrate, the empire would become 
a desert. 

Loss of Roman Prestige. — Men no longer looked to 
Kome for their citizenship. The army consisted principally 
of Gauls, Germans, and Britons, who were now as good Ro- 
mans as any. The emperors were of provincial birth. The 
wars kept them on the frontiers, and Diocletian, it is said, 
had never seen Rome until he came there in the twentieth 
year of his reign to celebrate his triumph. His gorgeous 
Asiatic court, with its pompous ceremonies and its king 
wearing the hated crown, was so ridiculed in Rome by 
song and lampoon that the monarch never returned. His 
headquarters were kept at Nicomedia (Bithynia) in Asia 
Minor, and Maximian's at Milan. 

Constantine, the Caesar in Britain, having been pro- 
claimed Augustus by his troops, overthrew five rivals who 


contested the throne, and became sole ruler (324 A. d.). His 
reign marked an era in the world's history. It was charac- 
terized by three changes : 1. Christianity became, in a 
sense, the state-religion.* 2. The capital was removed to 
Byzantium, a G-reek city, afterward known as Constantinople 
(Constantino's city). 3. The monarchy was made an abso- 
lute despotism, the army being remodeled so as to weaken 
its power, and a court established, with its titled nobility, 
who received their honors directly from the emperor, and 
took rank with, if not the place of, the former consul, 
senator, or patrician. 

The First General ((Ecumenical) Council of the church 
was held at Nice (325 a. d.), to consider the teachings of 
Arius, a priest of Alexandria, who denied the divinity of 

Christianity soon conquered the empire. The emperor 
Julian, the Apostate, an excellent man though a pagan 
philosopher, sought to restore the old religion, but in vain. 
The best intellects, repelled from political discussion by the 
tyranny of the government, turned to the consideration of 
theological questions. This was especially true of the Eastern 
church, where the Greek mind, so fond of metaphysical 
subtleties, was predominant. 

Barbarian Invasions. — In the latter part of the 4th 
century, a host of savage Huns,f bursting intj^B^ope, drove 

* According to the legend, when Constantine was marching against Maxentias, 
the rival Augustus at Rome, he saw in the sky at midday a flaming cross, and beneath 
* it the words, In this conquer ! Constantine accepted the new faith, and assumed 
the standard of the cross, which was henceforth borne by the Christian emperors. 

t The Huns were a Turanian race from Asia. They were short, thick-set, with 
flat noses, deep-sunk eyes, and a yellow complexion. Their faces were hideously 
scarred with slashes to prevent the growth of the beard. A historian of the time com- 
pared them in their ugliness to the grinning heads clumsily carved on the posts of 
bridges. They built no cities or houses, and never came under a roof except in 
guperstitions dread. They were clad in skins, which were never changed until they 
rotted off. They lived on horseback, carrying their families and all their possessions 
in huge wagons. 

^66 BOME. 

[378 A. D. 

the Teutons in terror before them. The frightened Goths * 
obtained permission to cross the Danube for an asylum, and 
soon a million of these wild warriors stood sword in hand 
on the Eoman territory. They were assigned lands in 
Thrace ; but the ill-treatment of the Roman officials drove 
them to arms. They defeated the emperor Valens in a 
terrible battle near Adrianople, the monarch himself being 
burned to death in a peasant's cottage, where he had been 
carried wounded. The victorious Goths pressed forward to 
the very gates of Constantinople. 

Theodosius the Great, a Spaniard, raised from a farm 
to the throne, stayed for a few years the inevitable progress 
of events. He pacified the Goths, and enlisted forty 
thousand of their warriors under the eagles, of Rome. He 
forbade the worship of the old gods, and tried to put down - 
the Arian heresy, so prevalent at Constantinople. At his 
death (395 A. D.), the empire was divided between his two 

Henceforth, the histories of the Eastern or Byzantine and 
the Western Empire are separate. The former is to go on 
at Constantinople for one thousand years, while Rome is 
soon to pass into the hands of the barbarians. 

The 5th Century is known as the Era of the Great 
Migration. During this period, Europe was turbulent with 
the movements of the restless Germans. Pressed by the 
Huns, the different tribes— the East and West Goths, Franks, 
Alans, Vandals, Burgundians, Longobards (Lombards), Al- 
lemanns. Angles, Saxons — poured south and west with irre-"^ 

* The Goths were already somewhat advanced in civilization through their inter- 
course with the Komans, and we read of Gothic leaders who were "judges of Honjer, 
and carried well-chosen books with them on their travels." Under the teachings of 
their good bishop TJl'philas, many accepted Christianity, and the Bible was translated 
into their language. They, however, became Arians, and so a new element of discord 
was intrdduced, as they hated the Catholic Christians of Rome. See BHef History 
of France, p. 14. 


sisfcible fury, arms in hand, seeking new homes in the 
crumbling Roman empire. It was nearly two centuries 
before the turmoil subsided enough to note the changes 
which had taken place. 

Three Great Barbaric Leaders, Alaric the Goth, 
Attila the Hun, and Genseric the Vandal, were conspicuous 
in the grand catastrophe. 

1. Alaric having been chosen prince of the Goths, after 
the death of Theodosius, passed the defile of Thermopylae, 
and devastated Greece, destroying the precious monuments 
of its former glory. Sparta and Athens, once so brave, made 
no defence. He was finally driven back by Stilicho, a Van- 
dal, but the only great Roman general. Alaric next moved 
upon Italy, but was repeatedly repulsed by the watchful 
Stilicho. The Roman emperor Honorius, jealous of his 
successful general, ordered his execution. When Alaric 
came again, there was no one to oppose his progress. All 
the barbarian Germans, of every name, joined his victorious 
arms. Rome * bought a brief respite with a ransom of " gold, 
silver, silk, scarlet cloth, and pepper"; but the Eternal 
City, which had not seen an enemy before its walls since the 
day when it defied Hannibal, soon fell without a blow (410 
A. D.). No Horatius was there to hold the bridge in this 
hour of peril. The gates were thrown open, and at midnight 
the Gothic trumpet awoke the inhabitants. For six days 
the barbarians held high reyel, and then their clumsy 

* " Rome, at this time, contained probably a mSIlion of inhabitants, and its wealth 
might well attract the cupidity of the barbarous invader. The palaces of the senators 
were filled with gold and silver ornaments — the prize of many a bloody campaign. 
The churches were rich with the contributions of pious worshippers. On the en- 
t^ance of the Goths, a fearful scene of pillage ensued. Houses were fired to light the 
streets. Great numbers of citizens were driven off to be sold as slaves ; while others 
fled to Africa, or the islands of the Mediterranean. Alaric being an Arian, tried to 
save the churches, as well as the city, from destruction. But now began that swift 
decay which soon reduced Rome to heaps of ruins, and rendered the title ' The 
Eternal City ' a sad mockery."— ^Smi^A. 



wagons, heaped high with priceless plunder, moved south 
along the Appian Way. Alaric died soon after.* His suc- 
cessor married the sister of the emperor, f and was styled 
an officer of Rome. Under his guidance, the Goths and 
Germans turned westward into Spain and southern Gaul. 
There they founded a powerful Visigothic kingdom, with 
Toulouse as its capital. 

2. Attilay king of the 
hideous Huns, gathering 
a half million savages, set 
forth westward from his 
wooden palace in Hungary, 
vowing not to stop till he 
reached the sea. He called 
himself the Scourge of 
God, and boasted that 
where his horse set foot 
grass never grew again. 
On the field of Chalons 
(451 A. D.), ^'tius theEo- 
__ man general in Gaul, and 
Theodoric king of the 
Goths, arrested this Tu- 
ranian horde, and saved 
AiTiLA. Europe to Christianity and 

Aryan civilization. Burn- 
ing with revenge, Attila crossed the Alps and descended 

♦ The Goths, in order to hide his tomb, tamed aside a stream, and, digging a grave 
in its bed, placed therein the body, clad in richest armor. They then let the water 
back, and slew the prisoners who had done the work. 

t During this disgraceful campaign, Honorius lay hidden in the inaccessible 
morasses of liavenna, where he amused himself with his pet chickens. When some 
one told him Rome was lost, he replied, " That cannot be, for 1 fed her ont of my 
hand a moment ago,** alluding to a ben which he called Borne. 


into Italy. City after city was spoiled and burned.* Just 
as he was about to march upon Eome, Pope Leo came forth 
to meet him, and the barbarian, awed by his majestic mien 
and the glory which yet clung to that seat of empire, agreed 
to spare the city. Attila returned to the banks of the 
Danube, Avhere he died shortly after, leaving behind him in 
history no mark save the ruin he had wrought. 

3. Gen'seric, leading across into Africa the Vandals, who 
had already settled the provmce of VandalMm^i in southern 
Spain, founded an empire at Carthage. Wishing to revive 
its former maritime greatness, he built a fleet and gained 
control of the Mediterranean. His ships cast anchor in the 
Tiber, and the intercessions of Leo were now fruitless to 
save Rome. For fourteen days, the pirates plundered the 
city of the Caesars. Works of art, bronzes, precious marbles, 
were ruthlessly destroyed, so that the word Vandal became 
synonymous with wanton devastation. 

Fall of the Roman Empire (476 A. d.). — The com- 
mander of the barbarian troops jn the pay of Rome now set 
up at pleasure one puppet-emperor after another. The last 
of these phantom monarchs, Romulus Augustalus, by a sin- 
gular coincidence, bore the names of the founder of the city, 
and of the empire. Finally, at the command of Odo'acer, 
German chief of the mercenaries, he laid down his useless 
sceptre. The senate sent the tiara and purple robe to Con- 
stantinople, and Zeno, the Eastern emperor, appointed 
Odoacer Patrician of Italy. So the Western empire passed 
away, and only this once proud title remained to recall its 
former glory. 

* The inhabitants of Aquileia and other cities, seeking a refuge in the islands 
of the Adriatic, founded the city of Venice, fitly named The Eldest Daughter of the 





Society. — The early Roman social and political organization was 
similar to the Athenian (p. 158). The true Roman people comprised 
only the patricians and their clients. The patricians formed the 
ruling class, and, even in the time of the republic, gave to Roman 
history an aristocratic character. Several clients were attached to 
each patrician, serving his interests, and, in turn, being protected 
by him. 

The three original tribes of patricians (Ramnes, Tities, and 
Luceres) were each divided into ten curice, and each curia theoreti- 
cally into ten gentes (houses, or clans). The members of a Roman 
curia, or ward, like those of an Athenian pliratry.^ possessed many 
interests in common, each curia having its own priest and lands. A 
gens comprised several families,* united usually by kinship and 

* Contrary to the custom in Greece, where family-names were seldom nsed, and a 
man was generally known by a single name having reference to some personal pecu- 
liarity or circumstance (p. 175), every Roman was given three names : \hQ pr(X,nomen 
or individual name, the nomen or clan-name, and the cognomen or family-name. 
Sometimes a fourth name was added to commemorate some exploit. Thus, in the 
case of Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus and his brother, Lsehus Cornelius Scipia 
Asiaticus (note, p. 235), we recognize all these titles. 


intermarriage, and bearing the same name. Besides this general 
organization, each family formed a little community by itself, 
governed by its " paterfamilias," who owned all the x>roperty and 
held the life of his children at will. The sons dwelt under the 
paternal roof, often long after they were married, and cultivated the 
family estate in common. 

Magistrates.- TAe consuls commanded the army, and executed 
the decrees of the senate and the people. They were chosen annually. 
They wore a white robe with a purple border, and were attended by 
twelve lictors bearing the axe and rods, emblems of the consular 
power. At the approach of a consul, all heads were uncovered, 
seated persons arose, and those on horseback dismounted. No one 
was eligible to the consulship until he was forty-three years of age, 
and had held the offices of questor, sedile, and praetor. 

The qmstors received and paid out the moneys of the state. 

The (Bcliles, two (and, afterward, four) in number, took charge of 
tlie public buildings, the cleaning and draining of the streets, and 
the superintendence of the police and the public games. 

The pv(Rtor was a sort of judge. At first there was only one, but, 
finally, owing to the increase of Roman territory, there were sixteen 
of these officers. In the later days of the republic it became custom- 
ary for the consuls and tlie praetors, after serving a year in the city, 
to take command of provinces, and to assume the title of proconsul 
or propraetor. 

The two censors were elected for five years. They took the cen- 
sus, not only of the names but of the property of the Roman ^citizens ; 
arranged the different classes (p. 213) ; corrected the lists of senators 
and equites, striking out those who were unworthy, and tilling vacan- 
cies in the senate; punished extravagance and immorality; levied 
the taxes ; and repaired and constructed public works, roads, etc. 

The Army. — Every citizen between the ages of seventeen and fifty 
was subject to military service, unless he was of the lowest class, or 
had seiwed twenty campaigns in the infantry or ten in the cavalry. 
The drill was severe, and included running, jumping, swimming in 
full armor, and marching long distances at the rate of four miles pei 
hour. The order of battle, equipment, etc., varied at different times. 
Among the peculiarities were the four classes of foot-soldiers, viz. . 
the velites, or light armed, who hovered in front ; the hastati, so-called 
because they anciently carried spears, and who formed the first line 
of battle ; the princij^es, so-named because in early times they were 
put in front, and who formed the second line; and the triarii^ 
veterans who composed the third line. Each legion contained from 



three to six thousand men. The legions were divided and sub- 
divided into cohorts, companies (manipuli), and centuries. 

Arms and Mode of Warfare. — The national arm of the Romans 
was the pilum, a heavy iron-pointed spear, six feet long, and weighing 
ten or eleven pounds. This was thrown at a distance of ten to 
fifteen paces, after which the legionary quickly came to blows with 
his stout, short sword. The velites began the battle with their 
light javelins, and then retired behind the rest. The hastati. the 
principes, and the triarii, each, in turn, bore the brunt of the fight, and, 
if defeated, passed through 
intervals between the man- 
ipuli of the other lines, and 
rallied in the rear.* 


* Later in Roman history the soldier ceased to be a citizen, and remained con- 
stantly with the eagles until discharged. Mariug arranged his troops in two lines, 


The Romans learned from the Greeks the use of military engines, 
and finally became experts in the art of sieges. Their principal 
machines were the daUista for throwing stones ; the catapult for hurl- 
ing darts ; the battering ram (so-called from the shape of the metal 
head) for breaching walls ; and the movable tower, which could be 
pushed close to the fortifications and so overlook them. 

On tJie march each soldier had to carry, besides his arms, grain 
enough to last from seventeen to thirty days, one or more wooden 
stakes, and, often, intrenching tools. When the army halted, even 
for a single night, a ditch was dug about the site for the camp, and 
a stout palisade made of the wooden stakes, to guard against a 
sudden attack. The exact size of the camp, and the location of 
every tent, street, etc. , were fixed by a regular plan common to all 
the armies. 

Literature. — For about five centuries after the founding of 
Rome, there was not a Latin author. When a regard for letters at 
last arose, the tide of imitation set irresistibly toward Greece. Over 
two centuries after ^schylus and Sophocles contended for the 
Athenian prize, Limus Andronicus, a Grecian-bom slave (brought 
to Rome about 250 b. c), made the first Latin translation of Greek 
classics, and himself wrote and acted * plays whose inspiration was 
caught from the same source. His works soon became text-books in 
Roman schools, and were used till the time of Virgil. Mevius, a 
soldier-poet, " the last of the native minstrels," patterned after 
Euripides in tragedy, and Aristophanes in comedy. The Romans 
resented the exposure of their national and individual weaknesses 
on the stage, sent the bold satirist to prison, and finally banished 
him. Ennius, " the father of Latin song," who called himself the 
Roman " Homer," and who unblushingly borrowed from his great 
model, decried the native fashion of ballad-writing, introduced 
hexameter verse, and built up a new style of literature, closely 

and Cffisar generally in three, but the terms hastati, principes, and triarli lost their 
significance. The place of the velites was taken by Cretan archers, Balearic slingers, 
and Gallic and Gterman mercenaries. In time, the army was filled with foreigners ; 
the heavy pllum and breastplate were thrown aside ; all trace of Koman equipment 
and discipline disappeared, and the legion became a thing of the past. 

* For a long time, he was the only performer in these dramas. He recited the 
dialogues and speeches, and sung the lyrics to the accompaniment of a flute. So 
favorably was the new entertainment received by Roman audiences, and so often 
was the successful actor encored^ that he lost his voice, and was obliged to hire a 
boy, who, hidden behind a curtain, sung the canticas, while Livius, in front, made 
the appropriate gestures. This custom afterward became common on the Roman 

274 BO ME. 

founded on the Grecian.* His Annals^ a poetical Roman history, 
was for two centuries the national poem of Rome. Ennius, unlike 
Nsevius, flattered the ruling powers, and was rewarded by having 
his bust placed in the tomb of the Scipios. Plautus (254-184 b. c), 
who pictured with his coarse, vigorous, and brilliant wit the man- 
ners of his day, and Terence (195-159 b. c), a learned and graceful 
humorist, were the two great comic poets of Rome.f They were 
succeeded by Lucilius (148-103 b. c), a brave soldier and famous 
knight, whose sharp, fierce satire was poured relentlessly on Roman 
vice and folly. 

Among the early prose writers was Cato the Censor (234-149 b. c), 
son of a Sabine farmer, who became famous as lawyer, orator, 
soldier, and politician (p. 234). His hand-book on agriculture, JDe 
Be Mustica, is still studied by farmers, and over one hundred and 
fifty of his strong, rugged orations find a place among the classics. 
His chief work. The Origines, a history of Rome, is lost. 

Varro (116-28 b. c), " the most learned of the Romans," first 
soldier, then farmer and author, wrote on theology, philosophy, 
history, agriculture, etc. He founded large libraries and a museum 
of sculpture, cultivated the fine arts, and sought to awaken literary 
tastes among his countrymen. 

To the last century b. c. belong the illustrious names of Virgil 
and Horace, Cicero, Livy, and Sallust. First in order of birth was 

Cice7'0jl orator, essayist, and delightful letter-writer. Most elo- 

* Ennius claimed that the soul of the old Greek bard had In its transmigration 
entered his body from its preceding home in a peacock. He so impressed his intel- 
lectual personality upon the Romans that they were sometimes called the "Ennjan 
People." Cicero greatly admired his works, and Virgil borrowed as unscrupulously 
from Ennius, as Ennius had filched from Homer. 

t It is noticeable that of all the poets we have mentioned, not one was bom at 
Rome. Livius was a slave from Magna Graecia ; Naevius was a native of Campania ; 
Ennius was a Calabrian, who came to Rome as a teacher of Greek ; Plautus (meaning 
flat-foot— his name being, like Plato, a sobriquet) was an Umbrian, the son of a 
slave, and served in various menial employments before he began play-writing ; and 
Terence was the slave of a Roman senator. To be a Roman slave, however, was not 
incompatible with the possession of talents and education, since, by the pitiless 
rules of ancient warfare, the richest and most learned citizen of a captured town 
might become a drudge in a Roman household, or be sent to labor in the mines. 

t Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 43 B. c ), son of a book-loving, country gentleman, 
was educated at Rome, studied law and philosophy at Athens, traveled two years in 
Asia Minor, and then settled in Rome as an advocate. Plunging into the politics of 
his time, he soon became famous for his thrilling oratory, and was made, in succes- 
sion, questor, sedile, prsetor, and consul. For his detection of Catiline's conspiracy, 
he received the title of Pater Patriae. His subsequent banishment, recall, and 
tragic death are historical (p. 248). Cicero was accused of being vain, vacillating, 
unamiable, and extravagant. He had an elegant mansion on the Palatine Hill and 


quent of all the Romans, his genius was not exhausted in the rude 
contests of the forum and basilica, but his thoughtful political 
essays, and his gossipy letters, are esteemed as highly as his brilliant 
orations. He studied Greek models, and his four orations on the 
Conspiracy of Gatiline rank not unfavorably with the Philippics of 
Demosthenes. His orations were used for lessons in Roman schools 
before he died, and, with his essays, De Bepublica^ Be Officiis^ and Be 
Senectute, are familiar Latin text-books of to-day. 

Sallust* a polished historian after the style of Thucydides, holds 
his literary renown by two short works — The Conspiracy of Catiline 
and The Jugurthine War, which are remarkable for their condensed 
vigor and vivid portrayal of character. 

Virgilj and Horace, poet-friends of the Augustan Age, are well- 
known to us. > Virgil left ten Eclogues or Bucolics, in which 
he patterned after Theocritus, a celebrated Sicilian poet of the 
Alexandrian Age ; The Georgics, a work on Roman agriculture and 
stock-breeding, in confessed imitation of Hesiod's Worhs and Bays; 
and the ^neid, modeled upon the Homeric poems. His tender, 

numerous country villas, his favorite one at TuscuJum being built on the plan of the 
Academy at Athens. Here he walked and talked with his friends in a pleasant imi- 
tation of Aristotle, and here he had a magnificent library of handsomely-bound 
volumes, to which he continually added rare works, copied by his skillful Greek 
slaves. His favorite poet was Euripides, whose Medea, it is said, he was reading 
when he was overtaken by his assassinators. 

* Caius Sallustius Crispus (86-34 b. c), who was expelled from the senate for 
immorality, served afterward in the civil war, and was made governor of Numidia 
by Julius Caesar. He grew enormously rich on his provincial plunderings, and 
returned to Rome to build a magnificent palace on the edge of the Campus Mavtius, 
where, in the midst of beautiful gardens, groves, and flowers, he devoted his remain- 
ing years to study and friendship. 

t The small paternal estate ofPublius Vlrgilius Maro (70-19 b. c), which was 
confiscated after the fall of the republic, was restored to him by Augustus. The 
young country poet, who had been educated in Cremona, Milan, and Naples, ex- 
pressed his gratitude for the imperial favor in a Bucolic (shepherd-poem), one of 
several addressed to various friends. Their merit and novelty — for they were the first 
Latin pastorals— attracted the notice of Maecenas, the confidential adviser of the em- 
peror; and, presently, ''the tall, slouching, somewhat plebeian figure of Virgil was seen 
among the brilliant crowd of courtiers, statesmen, artists, poets, and historians who 
thronged the audience-chamber of the popular minister," In his sumptuous palace on 
the Esquiline Hill. Maecenas, whose wealth equaled his luxurious tastes, took great 
delight in encouraging men of letters, being himself well versed in Gr^ek and Roman . 
literature, the fine arts, and natural history. Acting upon his advice, Virgil wrote 
the Geargics, upon which he spent seven years. The JEndd was written to please 
Augustus, whose ancestry it traces back to the " pious ^neas" of Troy, the hero of 
the poem. In his last illness, Virgil, who had not yet polished his great work to suit 
his fastidious tastes, would have destroyed it but for the entreaties of his friends. 
In accordance with his dying request, he was buried near Naples, where his tomb 
is still shown above the Posilippo Grotto. 



brilliant, graceful, musical lines are on the tongue of every Latin 
student. The JSndd became a text-book for the little Romans within 
fifty years after its author's death, and has never lost its place in the 


Horace^^ in his early writings, imitated Archilochus and Lucilius, 
and himself says : 

" The shafts of my passion at random I flung. 
And, dashing headlong into petulant rhyme, 
I recked neither where nor how fiercely I stung.". 

-Ode 1. 15. 

* Quinius Horatius Flaccus (65-8 b. c), " the wit who never wounded, the poet 
who ever charmed, the friend who never failed," was the son of a freedman, who 
gave his boy a thorough Roman education, and afterward sent him to Athens— still 
the school of the world. Here he joined the army of Brutus, but after the defeat at 
Phil ippi— where his bravery resembled that of Archilochus and Alcaeus (p. 164)— he 
returned to Rome to find his father dead, and all his little fortune confiscated. Of 
this time, he afterward wrote : 

" Want stared me in the face ; so then and there 
I took to scribbling verse in sheer despair." 

The proceeds of his poems and the gifts of friends bought him a clerkship in the 
questor's department, and made him modestly independent. Virgil introduced him 


But his kind, genial nature soon tempered this " petulant rhyme." 
His Satires are rambling, sometimes ironical, and always witty, dis- 
courses. Like Virgil, he loved to sing of country life. He wrote 
laboriously, and carefully studied all his metaphors and phrases. 
His Odes have a consummate grace and finish. 

Livyf^ who outlived Horace by a quarter of a century, wrote one 
hundred and forty-two volumes of Boman History^ beginning with 
the fabulous landing of ^neas, and closing with the death of Drusus 
(8 B. c). Thirty-five volumes remain. His grace, enthusiasm, and 
eloquence make his pages delightful to read, though he is no longer 
accepted as an accurate historian. 

The First Century a. d. produced the two Plinys, Tacitus, Juvenal, 
and Seneca. 

Pliny the Elder t is remembered for his Natural History^ a work 
of thirty-seven volumes, covering the whole range of the scientific 
knowledge of his time. 

Pliny the Younger, the charming letter-writer, and Tadtus, the 
orator and historian, two rich, eloquent, and distinguished noble- 
men, were among the most famous intellectual men of their time. J 

to Maecenas, who took him into an almost romantic friendship, lasting through 
life. From this generous patron, he received the gift of the " Sabine Farm," to 
which he retired, and which he has immortalized by his descriptions. He died a 
few months after his " dear knight Maecenas," to whom he had declared nearly a score 
of years before, 

" Ah, if untimely Fate should snatch thee hence, 

Thee, of my soul a part," 
" Think not that I have sworn a bootless oath, 
For we shall go, shall go, 
Hand linked in hand, where'er thou leadest, both 
The last sad road below." 
He was buried on the Esquiline Hill, by the side of his princely friend. 
* Titus Livius (59 b. C.-17 A. d.)- Little is known of his private life except that 
he was the friend of the Caesars. So great was his renown in his own time that, ac- 
cording to legend, a Spaniard traveled from Cadiz to Rome to see him, looked upon 
him, and contentedly retraced his journey. 

t Of this Pliny's incessant research, his nephew (Pliny the Younger) writfes : 
" From the twenty-third of August he began to study at midnight, and through 
the winter he rose at one or two in the morning. During his meals a book 
was read to him, he taking notes while it went on, for he read nothing without 
making extracts. In fact he thought all time lost which was not given to study." 
Besides his Natural History, Pliny the Elder wrote over sixty books on History, 
Rhetoric, Education, and Military Tactics ; he also left " one hundred and sixty 
volumes of Extracts, written on both sides of the leaf, and in the minutest hand." 
His eagerness to learn cost him his life, for he perished in approaching too near 
Vesuvius, in the great eruption which buried Pompeii and Herculaneum (79 A. d.). 

X Tacitus was sitting one day in the circus watching the games, when a stranger 
entered into a learned disciuisitipo with him, and, after a while, inquired, " Are you 

278 ROME. 

They scanned and criticised each other's manuscript, and became 
by their intimacy so linked with each other that they were jointly 
remembered in people's walls, legacies to friends being the fashion of 
the day. Of the writings of Tacitus, there remain a part of the 
Annals and the History of Mome^ a treatise on Germany, and a Life 
of Agricola. Of Pliny, we have only the Epistles and an Eulogium 
upon Trajan. The style of Tacitus was grave and stately, sometimes 
sarcastic or ironical ; that of Pliny was vivid, graceful, and circum- 

Seneca (7 b. C.-65 a. d.), student, poet, orator, and stoic philoso- 
pher, employed his restless intellect in brilliant ethical essays, trag- 
edies, and instructive letters written for the public eye,* His teach- 
ings were remarkable for their moral purity, and the Christian 
Fathers called him " The Divine Pagan." 

Juvenal^ the mocking, eloquent, cynical satirist, belongs to the 
close of the century. His writings are unsurpassed in scathing 
denunciations of vice.t 

Libraries and Writing Materials. — The Roman stationery 
differed little from the Grecian. The j)assion for collecting books 
was now so great that private libraries sometimes contained over 
sixty thousand volumes.^ The scribae -and libi'arii, slaves who were 
attached to library service, were an important part of a Roman gen- 
tleman's household. Fifty or a hundred copies of a book were 
often made at the same time, one scribe reading while the others 

of Italy or from the provinces? " " You know me from your reading," replied the 
historian. " Then," rejoined the other, " you must be either Tacitus or Pliny." 

* Seneca was the tutor and guardian of the young Nero, and in later days carried 
his friendship so far as to write a defence of the murder of Agrippina. But Nero 
was poor and in debt ; Seneca was immensely rich. To charge him with conspiracy, 
sentence him to death, and seize his vast estates, was a policy characteristic of Nero. 
Seneca, then an old man, met his fate bravely and cheerfully. His young wife re- 
solved to die with him, and opened a vein in her arm with the same weapon with 
which he had punctured his own, but Nero ordered her wound to be ligatured. As 
Seneca suffered greatly in dying, his slaves, to shorten hie pain, suffocated him in a 
vapor bath, 

t Juvenal's style is aptly characterized in his description of another noted satirist : 
" But when Lucilius, fired with virtuous rage. 

Waves his keen falchion o'er a guilty age, 

The conscious villain shudders at his sin. 

And burning blushes speak the pangs within ; 

Cold drops of sweat from every member roll. 

And growing terrors harrow up his soul," 
X Seneca ridiculed the fashionable pretensions of illiterate men who "adorn their 
rooms with thousands of books, the titles of which are the deUght of the yawning 



wrote * Papyrus, as it was less expensive than parchment, was the 
favorite writing material. The thick black ink used in writing was 
prepared from soot and gum ; red ink was employed for ruling the 
columns. The Egyptian reed-pen (calamus) was still in vogue. 


* A book was written upon separate strips of papyms. When the woik was 
completed, the strips were glued together; the last page was fastened to a hollow 
reed, over which the whole was wound ; the bases of the roll were carefully cut, 
smoothed, and dyed ; a small stick was passed through the reed, the ends of which 
were adorned with ivory, golden, or painted knobs {umbUici) ; the roll was wrapped in 
parchment, to protect it from the ravages of worms, and the title-label was affixed :— 
the book was then ready for the library shelf or circular case (scrinium). The portrait 
of the author usually appeared on the first page, and the title of the book was written 
both at the beginning and the end. Sheets of parchment were folded and sewed in 
different sizes, like modern books.— An author read the first manuscript of his new 
work before as large an audience as he could command, and judged from its recep- 
tion whether it would pay to publish. "If you want to recite," says Juvenal, 
" Maculonus will lend you his house, will range his freedmen on the furthest benches, 
and will put in the proper places his strong-lunged friends (these corresponded to our 
modern claqueurs or hired applaudcrs) ; but he will not give what it costs to hire 
the benches, set up the galleries, and fill the stage with chairs." These readings often 
became a bore, and Pliny writes : "This year has brought us a great crop of poets. 
Audiences come slowly and reluctantly ; even then they do not stop, but go away 
before the end ; some indeed by stealth, others with perfect opennees/' 

280 ROME. 

There were twenty-nine public libraries at Rome, of which the 
Ulpian, founded by Trajan, was the most important. 

Education. — As early as 450 b. c. Rome had elementary schools, 
where boys and girls were taught reading, writing, arithmetic, and 
music. The Roman boy mastered his alphabet at home, as most 
children do now, by playing with lettered blocks. At school, he 
chanted the letters, syllables, and words in class, after the teacher's 
dictation. His arithmetical calculations were carried on by the aid of 
his fingers, or with stone counters and a tablet ruled in columns — the 
counters expressing certain values according to the columns on which 
they were placed. He learned to write on wax tablets (p. 178), 
his little fingers being guided by the firm hand of the master; 
afterward he used pen and ink, and the blank side of second-hand 
slips of papyrus.* Boys of wealthy parents were accompanied to 
school by a slave, who carried their books, writing tablets, and count- 
ing boards, and also by a Greek pedagogue, who, in addition to 
other duties, practised them in his native language. Girls were 
attended to and from school by female slaves. 

Livius Andronicus opened a new era in school education. Ennius, 
Nsevius, and Plautus added to the text-books introduced by him, 
and the study of Greek became general. In later times, there were 
excellent higher schools where the master-pieces of Greek and Latin 
literature were carefully analyzed. National jurisprudence was not 
neglected, and every school-boy was expected to repeat the Twelve 
Tables from memory. Rhetoric and declamation were given great 
importance, and boys twelve years old delivered set harangues on 
the most solemn occasions.! As at Athens, the boy of sixteen years 

* The copies set for him were usually some moral maxim, and, doubtless, many a 
Roman school-boy labored over that trite proverb quoted from Menander by Paul, 
and which still graces many a writing-book : "Evil communications corrupt good 
manners."— Roman schoolmasters were very severe in the use of the ferula. Plautus 
says that for missing a single letter in his reading, a boy was " striped like his nurse's 
cloak" with the black and blue spots left by the rod. Horace, two centuries later, 
anathematized his teacher as Orbilius plagosus (Orbilius of the birch) ; and Martial, 
the witty epigrammatist and friend of Juvenal, declares that in his time " the morn- 
ing air resounded with the noise of floggings and the cries of suflfering urchins." 

t Julius Caesar pronounced in his twelfth year the funeral oration of his aunt, and 
Augustus performed a similar feat. The technical rules of rhetoric and declamation 
were so minute, that, while they gave no play for genius, they took away the risk of 
failure. Not only the form, the turns of thought, the cadences, everything except the 
actual words, were modeled to a pattern, but the manner, the movements, the ar- 
rangement of the dress, and the tones of the voice, were subject to rigid rules. The 
hair was to be sedulously coifed ; explicit directions governed the use of the hand- 
kerchief ; the orator's steps in advance or retreat, to right or to left, were all num- 
bered. He might rest only so many minutes on each foot, and place pue only so 




formally entered into manhood, the 
event being celebrated with certain 
ceremonies at home and in the Forum, 
and by the assumption of a new style of 
toga, or robe. He ^'as now allowed to 
attend the instruction of any philoso- 
pher or rhetorician he chose, and to 
visit the Forum and Tribunals, being 
generally escorted by some man of note 
selected by his father. He finished his 
education by a course in Athens. 

Monuments and Art. — The early 
Italian Temples were copied from the 
Etruscans ; the later ones were modifi- 
cations of the Grecian, Round temples 
(Etruscan) were commonly dedicated to 
Vesta or Diana ; sometimes a dome * 
and portico were added, as in the 

The Basilica^ or Hall of Justice, 
was usually rectangular, and divided into three or five aisles by 
rows of columns, the middle aisle being widest. At the extremity, 
was a semicircular, arched recess {ajjse) for the tribunal, in front of 
which was an altar — all important public business being preceded 
by sacrifice. 

Magnificerct Palaces were built by the Cassars, of which the 
Golden House of Nero, begun on the Palatine and extending by 
means of intermediate structures to the Esquiliue, is a familiar 
example.! At Tibar (the modem Tivoli), Hadrian had a variety of 

many inches before the other ; the elbow must not rise above a certain angle ; the 
fingers should be set off with rings, but not too many or too large ; and, in raising 
the hand to exhibit them, care must be taken not to disturb the head-dress. Every 
emotion had its prescribed gesture, and the heartiest applause of the audience was 
for the perfection of the pantomime. To run smoothly in all these physical as well 
as mental grooves of fashion, required incessant practice, and Augustus, it is said, 
" never allowed a day to pass without spending an hour in declamation, to keep his 
lungs in regular exercise and maintain the armory of dialectics furbished for ready 
use." — MerivaWs Romans. 

* Vaulted domes and large porticoes are characteristic of Roman architecture. 
The favorite column was the Corinthian, for which a new composite capital was in- 
vented. The foundation stone of a temple was laid on the day consecrated to the god 
to whom it was erected, and the building was made to face the point of the sun's 
rising on that morning. The finest specimens of Roman temple architecture are at 
Palmyra and Baalbec in Syria. 

t A court in front, surrounded b^a triple colounade a mile long, contained tbe 

382 ROME. 

structures, imitating and named after the most celebrated buildings 
of different provinces, such as the temple of Serapis at Canopus in 
Egypt, and the Lyceum and Academy at Athens. Even the valley 
of Tempe, and Hades itself, were here typified in a labyrinth of 
subterranean chambers. 

In Military Roads, Bridges, Aqueducts, and Harbors, the Romans 
displayed great genius. Even the splendors of Nero's golden house 
dwindles into nothing compared with the harbor of Ostia, the 
drainage works of the Fucinine Lake, and the two large aqueducts, 
Aqua Claudia and Anio Nova.* 

Military Roads. — TJnlike the Greeks, who generally left their 
roads where chance or custom led, the Romans sent out their strong 
highways in straight lines from the capital, overcoming all natural 
difficulties as they went ; filling in hollows and marshes, or spanning 
them with viaducts ; tunneling rocks and mountains ; bridging 
streams and valleys ; sparing neither time, labor, nor money to make 
them perfect.f Along the principal ones were placed temples, 

emperor's statue, oue hundred and twenty feet high. In other courts were gardens, 
vineyards, meadows, great artificial ponds with rows of houses on their banks, 
and woods inhabited by tame and ferocious animals. The walls of the rooms were 
covered with gold and jewels ; and the ivory with which the ceiling of the dining- 
halls was inlaid was made to slide back, so as to admit a rain of roses or fragrant 
waters on the heads of the carousers. Under Otho, this gigantic building was con- 
tinued at an expense of over $2,500,000, but only to be pulled down for the greater 
part by Vespasian. Titus erected his Baths on the Esquiline foundation of the Golden 
Palace, and the Colosseum covers the site of one of the ponds. 

* The Lacus Fucinus in the country of the Marsi was the cause of dangerous inun- 
dations. To prevent this, and to gain the bed of the lake for agricultural pursuits, a 
shaft was cut through the solid rock from the lake down to the River Liris, whence 
the water was discharged into the Mediterranean. The work occupied thirty 
thousand men for eleven years. The Aqua Claudia was fed by two springs in the 
Sabine mountain, and was forty-five Roman miles in length ; the Anio. Nova, fed 
from the River Anio, was sixty-two miles long. These aqueducts extended partly 
above and partly under ground, until about six miles from Rome, where they joined 
and were carried one above the other on a common structure of arches— in some 
places one hundred and nine feet high— into the city. 

t In building a road, the line of direction was first laid out, and the breadth, which 
was usually from thirteen to fifteen feet, marked by trenches. The loose earth be- 
tween the trenches having been excavated till a firm base was reached, the space 
was filled up to the proposed height of the road — which was sometimes twenty feet 
above the solid ground. First was placed a layer of small stones ; next, broken 
stones cemented with lime ; then, a mixture of lime, clay, and beaten fragments of 
brick and pottery ; and finally, a mixture of pounded gravel artd lime, or a pavement 
of hard, flat stones, cut into rectangular slabs or irregular polygons. All along the 
roads milestones were erected. Near the Arch of Septimius Severus in the Roman 
Forum may still be seen the remains of the " Golden Milestone " (erected by Augus- 
tus)— a gilded marble pillar on which were reporded tlie WSOJ^S Of tbe roftds 8,nd 
tb^ir length froiB tbe cjetropolie. 



triumphal arches, and sepulchral monuments. The Appian Way — 
called also Reglna Vlarum or Queen of Roads — was famous for the 
number, beauty, and richness of its tombs. Its foundations were 
laid 313 b. c. by the censor Appius Claudius, from whom it was 


The Roman Bridges and Viadvcts are among the most remarkable 
monuments of antiquity. In Greece, where the streams were nar- 
row, little attention was paid to bridges, which were usually of wood, 
resting at each extremity upon stone piers. The Romans applied 
the arch, of which the Greeks knew little or nothing, to the con- 
struction of massive stone bridges * crossing the wide rivers of their 
various provinces. In like manner, marshy places or valleys liable 
to inundation were spanned by viaducts resting on solid arches. 
Of these bridges, which may still be seen in nearly every corner of 
the old Roman Empire, one of the most interesting is the Pons 

* In early times, the bridges across tlie Tiber were regarded as sacred, and their 
care was confided to a special body of priests, called pontiflces (bridge-makers). The 
name ot Pontifex Maximus remained attached to the High Priest, and was worn by 
the Koman emperor. It is now given to the Pope. Bridges were sometimes made 
pf wood- work and masonry combined. 

284 KOME. 

^lius, now called the Bridge of St. Angelo, built by Hadrian across 
the Tiber in Rome. 

Aqueducts were constructed on the most stupendous scale, and 
at one time no less than twenty stretched their long lines of arches * 
across the Campagna, bringing into the heart of the city as many 
streams of water from scores of miles away. 

In their stately Harbors the Romans showed the same defiance 
of natural difficulties. The lack of bays and promontories was 
supplied by dams and Malls built far out into the sea; and even 
artificial islands were constructed to protect the equally artificial 
harbor. Thus, at Ostia, three enormous pillars, made of chalk, 
mortar, and Pozzuolan clay, were placed upright on the deck of a 
colossal ship, which was then sunk ; the action of the salt water 
hardening the clay, rendered it indestructible, and formed an island 
foundation. Other islands were made by sinking flat vessels, loaded 
with huge blocks of stone. Less imposing, but no less useful were 
the canals and ditches^ by means of which swamps and bogs were 
transformed into arable land ; and the subterranean sewers in Rome, 
which, built twenty-five hundred years ago, still serve their original 
purj)ose. ■ 

Triumphal Arches,-f erected at the entrance of cities, and across 
streets, bridges, and public roads, in honor of victorious generals or 
emperors, or in commemoration of some great event, were peculiar 
to the Romans ; as were also the 

Amphitheatres,^ of which the Flavian, better known as the Colos- 
seum, is the most famous. This structure was built mostly of blocks 

* Their remains, striking across the desolate Campagna in various directions and 
covered with ivy, maiden-liair, wild flowers, and fig-trees, form one of the most pic- 
turesque features in the landscape about Rome. " Wherever you go, these arches 
are visible ; and toward nightfall, glowing in the splendor of a Roman sunset, and 
printing their lengthening sun-looped shadows upon the illuminated slopes, they look 
as if the hand of Midas had touched them, and changed their massive blocks of cork- 
like travertine into crusty courses of molten gold.'''— Story's Moba di Roma. 

t Many of these arches still remain. The principal ones in Rome are those of 
Titus and Constantine, near the Colosseum, and that of Septimius Severus in the 
Roman Forum. The Arch of Titus, built of white marble, commemorates the de- 
struction of Jerusalem. On the bas-reliefs of the interior are represented the golden 
table, the seven -branched candlestick, and other precious spoils from the Jewish 
Temple, carried in triumphal procession by the victors. To this day, no Jew will 
walk under this Arch. 

% The Roman theatre difi"ered little from the Grecian. The first amphitheatre, 
made in the time of Julius Caesar, consisted of two wooden theatres, so placed upon 
pivots that they could be wheeled around, spectators and all, and either set back to 
back, for two separate dramatic performances, or f»ce to face, making a closed arena 
for gladiatorial shows. 



of travertine, clamped with iron and faced with marble ; it covered 
about five acres, and seated eighty thousand persons. At its 
dedication by Titus (a. d. 80), which lasted a hundred days, five 
thousand wild animals were thrown into the arena. It continued 
to be used for gladiatorial and wild-beast fights for nearly four 
hundred years. On various public occasions it was splendidly fitted 
up with gold, silver, or amber furniture. 


The ThermcB (public baths, \\iex2i\\j warm waters) were constructed 
on the grandest scale of refinement and luxury. The Baths of 
Caracalla, at Rome, contained sixteen hundred rooms, adorned with 
])recious marbles. Here were painting and sculpture galleries, 
libraries and museums, porticoed halls, open groves, and an imperial 

The arts of Painting^ Sculpture^ and Pottery were borrowed first 
from the Etruscans, and then from the Greeks ; * in mosaics^ the 

* " Roman art," says Zerfll, " is a misnomer; it is Etruscan, Greek, Assyrian, and 
Egyptian art, dressed in an eclectic Roman garb by foreign artists. The Pantheon 
contained a Greek statue of Venus, which, it is said, had in one ear the half of the 
pearl left by Cleopatra. To ornament a Greek marble statue representing a goddess 
with part of the earring of an Egyptian princess, is highly characteristic of Roman 
taste in matters of art." 

2S6 ROME. 

Komans excelled* In later times, Rome was filled with the mag- 
nificent spoils taken from conquered provinces, especially Greece. 
Greek artists fiooded the capital, bringing their native ideality to 
serve the ambitious desires of the more practical Romans, whose 
dwellings grew more and more luxurious, until exquisitely-frescoed 
walls, mosaic pavements, rich paintings, and marble statues became 
common ornaments in hundreds of elegant villas. 


General Character. — However much they might come in con- 
tact, the Roman and the Greek character never assimilated. We have 
seen the Athenian quick at intuition, polished in manner, art-loving, 
beauty-worshipping ; fond of long discussions and philosoi)hical dis- 
courses, and listening all day to sublime tragedies. We find the Roman 
grave, steadfast, practical, stern, unsympathizing ; f too loyal and 
sedate to indulge in much discussion ; too unmetapliysical to relish 
philosophy ; and too unideal to enjoy tragedy. The Spartan deified 
endurance ; the Athenian worshipped beauty ; the Roman was em- 
bodied dignity. The Greeks were proud and exclusive, but not un- 
co urteous to other nations ; the Romans had but one word (hostis) for 
strangers and enemies. Ambitious, determined, unflinching, they 
pushed their armies in every direction of the known world, and, appro- 
priating every valuable achievement of the peoples they conquered, 

* The mosaic floors, composed of bits of marble, glass, and valuable stones, were 
often of most elaborate designs. One discovered in the so-called House of the Faun, 
at Pompeii, is a remarkable battle scene, supposed to represent Alexander at Issus. 
It is preserved, somewhat mutilated, in the museum at Naples. 

t What we call sentiment was almost unknown to the Romans. The Greeks 
had a word to express affectionate family love ; tbe Romans had none, Cicero, 
whom his countrymen could not understand, was laughed at for his grief at the death 
of his daughter. The exposure of infants was sanctioned as in Greece— girls, espe- 
cially, suffering from this unnatural custom— and the power of the Roman father 
over the life of his children was paramount. Yet, Roman fathers took much pains 
with their boys, sharing in their games and pleasures, directing their habits, and 
taking them about town. Horace writes gratefully of his father, who remained with 
him at Rome during his school-days and was his constant attendant. (Sat. I. 4.) 

It is not strange, considering their indifference to their kindred, that the Romans 
were cruel and heartless to their slaves. In Greece, even the helot was granted some 
little consideration as a human being, but in Rome the unhappy captive— who may 
have been a prince in his own land— was but a chattel. The lamprey eels in a certain 
nobleman's fish-pond were fattened on the flesh of his bondmen ; and, if a Roman 
died suspiciously, all his slaves— who sometimes were numbered by thousands- 
were put to' the torture. The women are aecused of being more pitiless than the 
men, and the faces of the ladies' maids bore perpetual marks of the blows, scratches, 
and pin-stabs of their petulant mistresses. 


made all the borrowed arts their own, lavishing the precious spoils 
upon their beloved Rome. Their pride in Roman citizenship amounted 
to a passion, and for the prosperity of their capital they were ready to 
renounce the dearest personal hope, and to cast aside all mercy or 
justice toward every other nation. 

Religion. — The Romans, like the Greeks, worshipped the powers 
of Nature. But the Grecian gods and goddesses were living, loving, 
hating, quarrelsome beings, with a history full of romantic incident 
and personal adventure ; the Roman deities were solemn abstractions 
mysteriously governing every human action,* and requiring constant 
propitiation with vows, prayers, gifts, and sacrifices. A regular system 
of bargaining existed between the Roman worshipper and his gods. 
If he performed all the stipulated religious duties, the gods were 
bound to confer a reward ; if he failed in the least, the divine ven- 
geance was sure. At the same time, if he could detect a flaw in 
the letter of the law, or shield himself behind some doubtful techni- 
cality, he might cheat the gods with impunity, f Ihere was no room 
for faith, or hope, or love — only the binding nature of legal forms. 
Virtue, in our modern sense, was unknown, and piety consisted, as 
Cicero declares, in "justice toward the gods." 

In religion, as in everything else, the Romans were always ready 
to borrow from other nations. Their image-worship came from the 
Etruscans ; their only sacred volumes:}: were the purchased " Sibylline 
Books "; they drew upon the gods of Greece, until, in time, they liad 
transferred and adopted nearly the entire Greek Pantheon ; ^5 Phoenicia 

* The farmer had to satisfy " the spirit of breaking up the land and the spirit of 
ploughing it crosswise, the spirit of furrowing and the spirit of harrowing, the spirit 
of weeding and the spirit of reaping, the spirit of carrying the grain to the barn and 
the spirit of bringing it out again." The little child was attended by over forty 
gods. Vaticanus taught him to cry ; Fabulinus, to speak ; Edusa, to eat ; Potina, to 
drink ; Abeoua conducted him out of the house ; Interduca guided him on his way ; 
Domidfica led him home, and Adeona brought him in. So, also, there were deities 
controlling health, society, love, anger, and all the passions and virtues of men. 

t " If a man offered wine to Father Jupiter, and did not mention very precisely 
that it was only the cup-full which he held in his hand, the god might claim the 
whole year's vintage. On the other hand, if the god required so many heads in 
sacrifice, by the letter of the bond he would be bound to accept garlic-heads ; if he 
claimed an animal, it might be made out of dough or vra,x.'^—WUMns''s Bom. Antiq. 

X " Neither Romans nor Greeks had any sacred books. They have left poetry of 
the highest order, but no psalms or hymns, litanies or prayers, as the Egyptians have 
so largely ^oney—Renouf. 

§ Jupiter (Zeus) and Vesta (Hestia) were derived by Greeks and Romans from 
their common ancestors. Among the other early Italian gods were Mars (afterward 
identified with the Greek Ares), Hercules (Herakles). Juno (Hera), Minerva (Athena), 
and Neptune (Poseidon). The union of the Palatine Romans with the Quirinal 
Sabines was celebrated by the mutual worship of Quirinus, and a gate called the 
Janus was erected in the valley, afterward the site of the Forum. This gate was 



and Phrygia lent their deities to swell the 
list ; and, finally, our old Egyptian friends, 
Isis, Osiris, and Serapis, became as much 
at home upon the Tiber as they had been 
for ages on the Nile. The original religious 
ideas of the Romans can only be inferred 
from a few peculiar rites which character- 
ized their worship. The Chaldeans had 
astrologers ; the Persians had magi ; the 
Greeks had sibyls and oracles ; the Romans 
Augurs. Practical and unimaginative, the 
Latins would never have been content to learn 
the divine will through the ambiguous phrases 
of a human prophet ; they demanded a direct yes 
or no from the gods themselves. Augurs existed 
from the time of Romulus. Without their as- 
sistance no public act or ceremony could be 
performed. Lightning and the flight of birds 
were the principal signs by which the gods were 
supposed to make known their will ;* some 
birds of omen communicated by their cry, others by their manner of 

The Haruspices, who also expounded lightnings and natural phe- 
nomena, made a specialty of divination by inspecting the internal 
organs of sacrificed animals, a custom we have seen in Greece (p. 185). 


always open in time of war, and closed in time of peace. All gates and doors were 
sacred to the old Latin god Janus, whose key fitted every lock. He wore two faces, 
one before and one behind, and was the god of all beginnings and endings, all open- 
ings and shuttings.— With the adoption of the Greek gods, the Greek ideas of per- 
sonality and mythology were introduced, the Romans being too unimaginatiye to 
originate any myths for themselves. But, out of the hardness of their own character, 
they disfigured the original conception of every borrowed god, and made him more 
jealous, threatening, merciless, revengeful, and inexorable than before. " Among the 
thirty thousand deities with which they peopled the visible and invisible worlds, there 
was not one divinity of kindness, mercy, or comfort." 

* In taking the auspices, the augur stood in the center of a con- n 

secra ted square, and divided the sky with his staff into quarters (cut); 
he then offered his prayers and, turning to the south, scanned the 
heavens for a reply. Coming from the left, the signs were favorable ; 
from the right, unfavorable. If the first signs were not desirable, 
the augurs had only to wait until the right ones came. They thus " 

compelled the gods to sanction their decisions, from which there was afterward no 
appeal. In the absence of an augur, the "Sacred Chickens," which were carried 
about in coops during campaigns, were consulted. If they ate their food greedily, 
especially if they scattered it, the omen was favorable ; if they reftised to eat, or 
moped in the coop, evil was anticipated ! 


Their art was never much esteemed by the more enlightened classes, 
and Cato, who detested their hypocrisy, said that " one haruspex could 
not even look at another in the streets without laughing." 

The family worship of Vesta, Goddess of the Hearth, was more 
exclusive in Rome than in Greece, where slaves joined in the home 
devotions. A Roman father, himself the Priest at this ceremony, 
would have been shocked at allowing any but a kinsman to be present, 
for it included the worship of the Lares and Penates, the spirits of 
his ancestors and the guardians of his house. So, also, in the public 
service at the Temple of Vesta, the national hearth-stone, the patricians 
felt it a sacrilege for any but themselves to join. The worship of 
Vesta, Saturnus (the god of seed-sowing), and Opo (the harvest-god- 
dess), was under the direction of the 

College of Pontifices, of which, in regal times, the king was high- 
priest. Attached to this priestly college — the highest in Rome — were 
the Flamens* {flare, to blow the fire), who were Priests of Jupiter, 
Mars, and Quirinus ; and the Vestal Virgins, who watched the eternal 
fire in the Temple of Vesta.f 

The Salii, or " leaping priests," received their name from the war- 
like dance which, dressed in full armor, they performed every March 
before all the temples. They had the care of the Sacred Shields, which 
they carried about in their annual processions, beating them to the 

* The Flamen Dialls (Priest of Jupiter) was forbidden to take an oath, monnt a 
horse, or glance at an army. His hand could touch nothing unclean, and he never 
approached a corpse or a tomh. As he must not look at a fetter, the ring on his 
finger was a hroken one, and, as he could not wear a knot, his thick woolen toga, 
woven hy his wife, was fastened with buckles. (In Egypt, we remember, priests 
were forbidden to wear woolen, p. 20.) If his head-dress (a sort of circular pillow, on 
the top of which an olive-branch was fastened by a white woolen thread) chanced to 
fall off, he was obliged to resign his office. In his belt he carried the sacrificial knife, 
and in his hand he held a rod to keep off the people on his way to sacrifice. As he 
might not look on any secular employment, he was preceded by a lictor, who com- 
pelled every one to lay down his work till the Flamen had passed. His duties were 
continuous, and he could not remain for a night away from his house on the Palatine. 
His wife was subject to an equally rigid code. She wore long woolen robes, and 
shoes made of the leather of sacrificed animals. Her hair was tied with a purple 
woolen ribbon, over which was a kerchief, fastened with the bough of a lucky tree. 
She also carried a sacrificial knife. 

t T?i€ Vestal always dressed in white, with a broad band, like a diadem, round 
her forehead. During sacrifice or in processions, she was covered with a white veil. 
She was chosen for the service when from six to ten years old, and her vows held for 
thirty years, after which time, if she chose, she was released and might marry. 
Any offence offered her was punished with death. In public, every one, even the 
consul, made way for the lictor preceding the maiden, and she had the seat of honor 
at all public games and priestly banquets. If, however, she accidentally suffered the 
sacred fire to go out, she was liable to corporeal punishment by the pontifex maxi- 
mus ; if she broke her vows, she was carried on a bier to the Campus Sceleratus, 
beaten with rods, and buried alive. The number of vestal virgins never exceeded 
six at any one time. 

290 ROME. 

measure of an old-time song in praise of Janus, Jupiter, Juno, Minerva, 
and Mars. One of the shields was believed to have fallen from 
Heaven. To mislead a possible pillager of so precious a treasure, 
eleven more were made exactly like it, and twelve priests were ap- 
pointed to watch them all. 

The Fetiales had charge of the sacred rites accompanying declara- 
tions of war, or treaties of peace. War was declared by throwing a 
bloody spear across the enemy's frontier. A treaty was concluded by 
the killing of a pig with a sacred pebble. 

Altars were erected to the Emperors, where vows and prayers 
were daily offered.* In the times of Roman degeneracy, the city was 
flooded with quack Chaldean astrologers, Syrian seers, and Jewish 
fortune-tellers. The women, especially, were ruled by these corrupt 
impostors, whom they consulted in secret and by night, and on whom 
they squandered immense sums. Under these debasing influences, 
profligacies and enormities of every kind grew and multiplied. The 
old Roman law which commanded that the parricide should be 
" sewn up in a sack with a viper, an ape, a dog, and a cock, and then 
cast into the sea," was not likely to be rigidly enforced when a parri- 
cide sat on the throne, and poisonings were common in the palace. 
That the pure principles of Christianity, which were introduced at 
this time, should meet with contempt, and its disciples with bitter 
persecution, was inevitable. 

Games and Festivals. — The Roman public . games were a 
degraded imitation of the Grecian, and, like them, connected with 
religion. When a divine favor was desired, a vow of certain games 
was made, and, as the gods regarded promises with suspicion, the 
expenses were at once raised. Each of the great gods had his own 
festival-month and day. 

The Saturnalia, which occurred in December, and which, in later 
times, lasted seven days, was the most remarkable. It was a time of 
general mirth and feasting ; schools were closed ; the senate adjourned ; 
presents were made ; wars were forgotten ; criminals had certain 
privileges ; and the slaves, whose lives were ordinarily at the mercy 
of their masters, were permitted to jest with them, and were even 
waited upon by them at table ; — all this in memory of the free and 
golden rule of ancient Saturn. 

The gymnastic and musical exercises of the Greeks never found 
much favor in Rome ; tragedies were tolerated only for the splendor 
of the costumes and the scenic wonders ; and even comedies failed to 

* " Not even the Egyptians, crouching in grateful admiration hef ore a crocodile, so 
outraged' humanity as did those polite Romans, rendering divine honors to an em- 
peror like Aurelius Comraodiis, who fought seven hundred and thirty-five times as a 
common gladiator in the arena before his enervated people."— Ze?:^. 



satisfy a Roman audience. Farces and pantomimes won great ap* 
plause ; horse and chariot races were exciting pleasures from the time 
of the kings ; but, of all delights, nothing could stir Rome like a 
gladiatorial or wild-beast fight. At first connected with the Saturnalia, 
the sports of the arena soon became too popular to be restricted, and 
mourning sons in high life paid honors to a deceased father by 
furnishing a public fight, in which from twenty-five to seventy -five 
gladiators were hired to take part, the contest often lasting for days. 


Gladiatorial Shoics were advertised by private circulars or public 
announcements. On the day of the performance, the gladiators marched 
in solemn procession to the arena, where they were matched in pairs,* 

* The gladiators fought in pairs or in matched numbers. A favorite duel was 
between a man without arms, but who carried a net in which to ensnare his opponent 
and a three-pronged fork with which to spear him when caught, and another man in 
full armor, whose safety lay in evading his enemy while he pursued and killed him. 
"It is impossible to describe the aspect of an amphitheatre when gladiators 
fought. The audience became frantic with excitement ; they rose from their seats ; 
they yelled ; they shouted their applause as a ghastly blow was dealt which sent the 
life-blood spouting forth. 'Hoc habet'—'he has it'— 'he has it,' burst from ten 
thousand throats, and was re-echoed, not only by a brutalized populace, but by 

292 BOME. 

and their weapons formally examined. " An awning gorgeous with 
purple and gold excluded the rays of the midday sun ; sweet strains 
of music floated iii the air, drowning the cries of death ; the odor of 
Syrian perfumes overpowered the scent of blood ; the eye was feasted 
by the most brilliant scenic decorations, and amused by elaborate 
machinery." At the sound of a bugle and the shout of command, the 
battle opened. When a gladiator was severely wounded, he dropped 
his weapons, and held up his forefinger as a plea for his life. This 
was sometimes in the gift of the people ; often the privilege of the 
vestal virgins ; in imperial times, the prerogative of the emperor. A 
turned-down thumb or the waving of a handkerchief extended mercy ; 
a clenched and upright fist forbade all hope. Cowards had nothing to 
expect, and were whipped or branded with hot irons till they resumed 
the fight. The killed and mortally wounded were dragged out of the 
arena with a hook. 

The Wild-Beast Mghts were still more revolting, especially when 
untrained captives or criminals were forced to the encounter. Many 
Christian martyrs, some of whom were delicate women, perished in 
the Colosseum. We read of twenty maddened elephants turned in 
upon six hundred war captives, and, in Trajan's games, which lasted 
over one hundred and twenty days, ten thousand gladiators fought, and 
over that number of wild beasts were slain. Sometimes, the animals, 
made furious by hunger or fire, were let loose at one another. Great 
numbers of the most ferocious beasts were imported from distant 
countries for these combats. Strange animals were sought after, and 
camelopards, white elephants, the rhinoceros, and the hippopotamus, 
goaded to fury, delighted the assembled multitudes. Noble game be- 
came scarce, and at last it was forbidden by law to kill a Getulian lion 
out of the arena, even in self-defence. 

Nwiiol Fights, in flooded arenas, were also popular. The Colosseum 
was scmetimes used for this purpose, as many as thirty vessels taking 
part. At an entertainment given by Augustus in the flooded arena of 
the Flaminian circus, thirty-six crocodiles were pursued and killed. 

Marriage was of two kinds. In one, the bride passed from the 
control of her father into that of her husband ; in the other, the 

imperial lips, by purple-clad senators and knights, by noble matrons and consecrated 
maids."— >S^Aej9?>arc?'s Fall of Rome. So frenzied witli the sight of blood did the 
spectators become that they would rush into the arena and slay on every side ; and 
so sweet was the applause of the mob that captives, slaves, and criminals were envied 
the monopoly of the gladiatorial contest, and laws were required to restrict knights 
and senators from entering the lists. Some of the emperors fought publicly in the 
arena, and even women thus debased themselves. Finally, such was the mania, that 
no wealthy or patrician family was without its gladiators, and no festival was complete 
without a contest. Even at banquets, blood was the only stimulant that roused the 
jaded appetite of a Soman. 




' 'Ml 














parental power was retained. The former 
kind of marriage could be contracted in 
any one of three diilerent ways. Of these, 
the religious form was confined to the 
patricians ; the presence of the pontifex 
maximus, the priest of Jupiter, and ten 
citizens was necessary as witnesses ; a 
sacred cake {far) was broken and solemnly 
tasted by the nuptial pair, whence this 
ceremony was termed confarreatio. A 
second manner was by purchase (coemptio), 
in which the father .formally sold his 
daughter to the groom, she signifying her 
consent before witnesses. The third form, 
by prescription (nsus), consisted simply in 
the parties having lived together for a year 
without being separated for three days at 
any time. 

The marriage ceremony proper differed 
little in the various forms. The betrothal 

consisted of the exchange of the words spondesne (do you promise ?) 
and spondeo (I promise), followed by the gift of a ring from the 
groom. On the wedding-morning, the guests assembled at the house 
of the bride's father, where the auspices — which had been taken 
before sunrise by an augur or a haruspex — were declared, and the 
solemn marriage contract was spoken. The bride's attendant then 
laid her hands upon the shoulders of the newly-married pair, and led 
them to the family altar, around which they walked hand-in-hand, 
while a cow, a pig, and a sheep were offered in sacrifice — the gall 
having been first extracted and thrown away, to signify the removal 
of all bitterness from the occasion. The guests having made their 
congratulations, the feast began. At nightfall, the bride was torn 
with a show of force from her mother's arms (in memory of the seizure 
of the Sabine women, p. 206) ; two boys, whose parents were both 
alive, supported her by the arms ; torches were lighted, and a gay 
procession, as in Greece, accompanied the party to the house of the 
groom. Here the bride, having repeated to her spouse the formula, 
" Ubi tu Calus, ibi ego Gaia " (Where thou art Caius, I am Caia), 
anointed the door-posts and wound them with wool, and was lifted 
over the threshold. Having been formally welcomed into the atrium 
by her husband, they both touched fire and water, and she was given 
the keys to the house. The next day, at the second marriage feast, 
^the wife brought her offerings to the gods of her husband's family, of 
which she was now a member, and a Roman matron. 

294 E O M E . 

Burial.* — When a Roman died it was the duty of his nearest rela- 
tive to receive his last breath with a kiss, and then to close his eyes 
and mouth (compare yEneid, iv. 684). His name was now called 
several times by all present, and there being no response the last fare- 
well (vale) was said. The necessary utensils and slaves having been 
hired at the temple where the death-registry was kept, the body was 
laid on the ground, washed in hot water, anointed with rich perfumes, 
clad in its best garments, placed on an ivory bedstead, and covered 
with blankets of purple, embroidered with gold.f The couch was deco- 
rated with flowers and foliage, but upon the body itself were placed 
only the crowns of honor fairly earned during its lifetime ; these 
accompanied it into the tomb. By the side of the funereal bed, which 
stood in the atrium facing the door, as in Greece, was placed a pan of 
incense. The body was thus exhibited for seven days, branches of 
cypress and iir fastened in front of the house announcing a mourning 
household to all the passers-by. On the .eighth morning, while the 
streets were alive with bustle, the funeral took place. Behind the 
hired female mourners, who sang wailing dirges, walked a band of 
actors, who recited scraps of tragedy applicable to the deceased, or 
acted comic scenes in which were sometimes mimicked his personal 
peculiarities. :}: In front of the bier marched those who personated the 
prominent ancestors of the dead person. They wore waxen masks 
(p. 303), in which and in their dress were reproduced the exact features 
and historic garb of these long-defunct personages. § The bier, car- 
ried by the nearest relatives, or by slaves freed by the will of the 
deceased, and surrounded by the family friends dressed in black (or, in 
imperial times, in white), was thus escorted to the Forum. Here the 
mask-wearers seated themselves about it, and one of the relatives 
mounted the rostrum to eulogize the deceased and his ancestors. After 
the eulogy, the procession reformed, and the body was taken to the 

* The Romans, like the Greeks, attached great importance to the interment of 
their dead, as they believed that the spirit of an unburied body was forced to wander 
for a hundred years. Hence it was deemed a religious duty to scatter earth over any 
corpse found uncovered by the wayside, a handful of dust being sufficient to appease 
the infernal gods. If the body of a friend could not be found, as in shipwreck, an 
empty tomb was erected, over which the usual rites were performed. 

+ We are supposing the case of a rich man. The body of a poor person was, after 
the usual ablutions, carried at night to the common burial-ground outside the Esqui- 
line gate, and interred without ceremony. 

t At Vespasian's obsequies an actor ludicrously satirized his parsimony. " How 
much will this ceremony cost?" he asked, in the assumed voice of the deceased 
emperor. A large sum having been named in reply, the actor extended his hand and 
greedily cried out, " Give me the money and throw my body into the Tiber." 

§ Frequently, the masks belonging to the collateral branches of the family were 
borrowed, that a brilliant show might be made._ Parvenus, who belong to all time, 
were wont to parade images of fictitious ancestors. 


spot where it was to be buried or burned, both forms being used 
as in Greece. If it were burned, the nearest relative, with averted 
face, lighted the pile. After the burning, the hot ashes were drenched 
with wine, and the friends collected the bones in the folds of their 
robes, amid acclamations to the manes of the departed. The remains, 
sprinkled with wine and milk, were then — with sometimes a small 
glass vial filled with tears — placed in the funeral urn ; a last farewell 
was spoken, the lustrations were performed, and the mourners 
separated. When the body was not burned, it was buried with all its 
ornaments in a coffin, usually of stone* The friends, on returning 
home from the funeral, were sprinkled with water, and then they 
stepped over fire, as a purification. The house also was ceremoniously 
purified. An offering and banquet took place on the ninth day after 
burial, in accordance with Greek custom. 

Dress. — The toga, worn by a Roman gentleman, was a piece of 
white woolen cloth about five yards long and three and a half wide, 
folded lengthways, so that one edge fell below the other. It was thrown 
over the left shoulder, brought around the back and under the right 
arm, then, leaving a loose fold in front, thrown again over the left 
shoulder, leaving the end to fall behind. Much pains was taken to 
drapB it gracefully, according to the exact style required by fashion. 
A tunic, with or without sleeves, and in cold weather a vest, or one 
or more extra tunics, were worn under the toga. Boys under seventeen 
years of age wore a toga with a purple hem ; the toga of a senator had 
a broad purple stripe, and that of a knight had two narrow stripes. 
The use of the toga was forbidden to slaves, strangers, and, in im- 
perial times, to banished Romans. 

The pmnula, a heavy, sleeveless cloak, with sometimes a hood 
attached, and the lacerna, a thinner, bright-colored one arranged in 
folds, were worn out of doors over the toga. The paludamentum, a 
rich, red cloak draped in picturesque folds, was permitted only to the 
military general-in-chief, who, in imperial times, was the emperor 
himself. The sagum was a short military cloak. The synthesis, a gay- 
colored easy robe, was worn over the tunic at banquets, and by the 
nobility during the Saturnalia. Poor people had only the tunic, and 
in cold weather a tight-fitting wool or leather cloak. When not on a 
journey the Roman, like the Greek, left his head uncovered, or pro- 
tected it with his toga. Rank decided the style of shoe : a consul used 
a red one, a senator a black one with a silver crescent, ordinary folk 
a plain black, slaves and poorest people wooden clogs. In the house, 
sandals only were worn, and at dinner even these were laid aside. 

* That from Assos in Lycia was said to consume the entire body, except the teeth, 
in forty days: hence it was called sarcophagus (flesh-eating), a name which came to 
stand for any coffin. 

296 ROME. 

A Roman matron dressed in a linen under-tunic, a vest, and the 
stola, a long, short-sleeved garment, girdled at the waist and flounced 
or hemmed at the bottom. Over this, when she went out, she threw 
a palla, cut and draped like her husband's toga, or like the Greek 
himation. Girls and foreign women, who were not permitted the stola, 
wore over the tunic a palla, arranged like the Doric chiton (p. 193). 
Women— who, like the men, went hatless— protected their heads with 
the palla, and wore veils, nets, and various light head-coverings. 
This led to elaborate fashions in hair-dressing. A caustic soap im- 
ported from Gaul was used for hair dyeing, and wigs were not uncom- 
mon. Bright colors, such as blue, scarlet, violet, and especially 
yellow — the favorite tint for bridal veils— enlivened the feminine 
wardrobe. Finger-rings were worn in profusion by both sexes, and 
a Roman lady of fashion luxuriated in bracelets, necklaces, and various 
ornaments set with diamonds, pearls, emeralds, and other jewels, 
whose purchase frequently cost her husband his fortune. 


Scene I. — A Day in Rome. — Let us imagine ourselves on some 
bright, clear morning, about eighteen hundred years ago, looking down 
from the summit of the Capitoline hill upon the "Mistress of the 
World." As we face the rising sun, we see clustered about us a group 
of hills crowned with a vast assemblage of temples, colonnades, 
palaces, and sacred groves. Densely packed in the valleys between 
are towering tenements,* shops with extending booths, and here and 
there a templed forum, amphitheatre, or circus. In the valley at our 
feet, between the Via Sacra and the Via Nova — the only paved roads 
in the whole city fit for the transit of heavy carriages — is the Forum 
Romanum, so near us that we can watch the storks that stalk along 
the roof of the Temple of Concord f This Forum is the great civil and 
legislative heart of the city. Here are the Regia or palace of the chief 
pontiff, with its two adjoining basilicas ; the Temple of Vesta, on 
whose altar burns the sacred flame ; the Senate House, fronted by the 
Rostra, from which Roman orators address assembled multitudes ; 
various temples, including the famous one of Castor and Pollux ; and 

* Ancient authors frequently mention the extreme height of Roman houses, which 
Augustus finally limited to seventy feet. Cicero says of Rome that " it is suspended 
in the air"; and Aristides, comparing the successive stories to the strata of the 
earth's crust, affirms that if they were laid out on one level they " would cover Italy 
from sea to sea." To economize lateral space, the exterior walls were forbidden to 
exceed a foot and a half in thickness. 

t Storks were encouraged to build in the roof of this temple, as peculiar social 
instincts were attributed to them. (See St^eeWs Zoology^ p. 147.) 






many beautiful marble arches, col- 
umns, and statues. At our right is 
the crowded district of the Vela- 
brum, and beyond it, between the 
Palatine and Aventine hills, is the 
Circus Maxiraus, from which the 
Appian Way sweeps to the south- 
east, through the Porta Capena and 
under the great Aqua Crabra, a sol- 
idly-paved street, many-days jour- 
ney in extent, and lined for miles 
beyond the city walls with mag- 
nificent marble tombs shaded by 
cypress trees. Among the temples on 
the Palatine stands the illustrious 
one sacred to Apollo, along whose 
porticoes hang the trophies of all na- 
tions, and to which is at- 
tached a famous library C • 




298 EOME. 

of Greek and Roman books ; near it is the Roma Quadrata, a square 
mass of masonry believed to be mysteriously connected with the for- 
tunes of the city, and beneath which certain precious amulets are de- 
posited. Interspersed among these public buildings on the Palatine are 
many isolated mansions surrounded by beautiful gardens fragrant with 
the odors of roses and violets, in which the Romans especially delight. 
There is no arrangement of streets upon the hills ; that is a system 
confined to the crowded Suburra, which adjoins the Roman Forum 
at our front and lies at the foot of the Quirinal, Viminal, and Es- 
quiline hills. This district, which was once a swampy jungle and 
afterward a fashionable place for residences (Julius Caesar was born 
in the Suburra), is now the crowded abode of artificers of all kinds, 
and is the most profligate as well as most densely populated part of 

Turning about and facing the west, we see, toward the north, the 
Campus Martins, devoted from the earliest period to military exercises 
and the sports of running, leaping, and bathing. On this side of the 
open meadows stand some of the principal temples, the great Flaminian 
Circus, and the theatres of Pompeius and Marcellus with their groves, 
porticoes, and halls. Precisely in the center of the plain rises the 
Pantheon of Agrippa, and, further on, we see the Amphitheatre of 
Taurus,* and the Mausoleum of Augustus. At our front, beyond the 
curving, southward-flowing Tiber, is a succession of terraces, upon 
whose heights are many handsome residences. This quarter, the 
Janiculum, is noted for its salubrity, and here are the Gardens of 
Caesar, and the Naumachia (a basin for exhibiting naval engagements) 
of Augustus, fed by a special aqueduct, and surrounded by walks and 
groves. Glancing down the river we see the great wharf called the 
Emporium, with its immense store-houses, in which grain, spices, 
candles, paper, and other commodities are stored ; and, just beyond it, 
the Marmorata, a special dock for landing building-stone and foreign 
marbles. It is yet early morning, and the streets of Rome are mainly 
filled with clients and their slaves hurrying to the atria (p. 303) of their 
wealthy patrons to receive the customary morning dole.f Here and 

* The whole of this northern district comprehends the chief part of modem 
Rome, and is now thronged with houses. 

t In early times the clients were invited to feast with their patron in the atrium 
of his mansion, but in later days it became customary, instead, for stewards to dis- 
tribute small sums of money or an allowance of food, which the slaves of the clients 
carried away in baskets or in small portable ovens, which kept the cooked meats hot, 
" Wedged in thick ranks before the donor's gates, 
A phalanx firm of chairs and litters waits. 
Once, plain and open was the feast, 
' • And every client was a bidden guest ; 
Now, at the gate a paltry largess lies, 
And eager hands and tongues dispute the prize."— Jw«?en(rf. 






I. Porta Capena. 

L P.Ttii Ciipena. 

2. Valley of Egeiia. 

3. Tomb of Scipio. 

n. Cjelimontium. 

4. Temple. ifDivusOandius 

5. Arch of Constantine. 

6. Colisseiim. 

7. Baths of Titus. 

8. Baths of Trajan. 

IV. Via Sacra. 

9. FiTiiMi of Vespasian. 

10. Basilica of Consiantine. 

V. EsquilinacumVimi- 


11. Temple of Jimo. 

VI. AiiTA Semita. 

12. Biiths of Diocletian. 

13. Temple of Flora.'' 

14. Temple of Quirinns. 
15. Baths of Constantlne. 

Vn, Via Lata. 

16. Arch of Aiirelins. 

17. Arch of Claudius. 

18. Amphitheatre of Taurus. 

19. Column of Antoninus. 

20. Camp of Agrippa. 

21. Temple of Isis and Se- 


VIII. Forum Romaxtjm. 

22. Capitoline Hill. 

23. Temple of Jupiter Tonans 

24. Arx. 

25. Gulden Milestone. 

26. Roman Forum. 

27. Temple of Vesta. 

28. Via Sacra. 

29. Lupercal. 

30. Tarpei:.n Rock. 

31. Arch of Severus. 

32. Curia (Senate House.) 

33. Foriim of Augustus. 

34. Basilica Ulpia. 

35. Temple of Jnuus. 

IX. Circus FLAMiNrus. 

36. Theatre of Mnrcellua. 

37. Port, of Octavius and 


38. Circus Flaminius. 

39. Temple of Apollo. 

40. Temple of Bellons. 

41. Septa Julia. 

42. Diribitorium. 

43. Bar hs of Agrippa. '' 

44. Port, of Pompey. 

45. Theatre of Pompej. 

46. Piintlieon, 

47. Balhs of Nero. 

48. Race C"urse. 

49. Mausoleum of AugustoSs 

X. Palatium. 

50. Palace of Nero. 
61. Palace of Augustus. 

XL Circus Maximus. 

52. Velabrum. 

63. Forum Olitorium. 

64. Forum Bonvium, 

65. Circus Maximui>. 

Xn. Piscina Publica. 

56. Haihs of Antoninus. 

57. Balnea Since. 
68 Eniporium. 

XrV. Trans Tiberim. 

69. Temple of .^sculapitu. 

300 KOME. 

there a teacher hastens to his school, and in the Suburra the workers 
in metal and in leather, the clothiers and perfume sellers, the book- 
dealers, the general retailers, and the jobbers of all sorts, are already 
beginning their daily routine. We miss the carts laden with mer- 
chandise which so obstruct our modern city streets ; they are forbidden 
by law to appear within the walls during ten hours between sunrise 
and sunset. But, as the city wakes to life, long trains of builders' 
wagons, weighted with huge blocks of stone or logs of timber, bar 
the road, and mules, with country produce piled in baskets suspended 
on either side, urge their way along the constantly increasing crowd. 
Here is a mule with a dead boar thrown across its back, the proud hun- 
ter stalking in front, with a strong force of retainers to carry his spears 
and nets. There comes a load drawn by oxen, upon whose horns a 
wisp of hay is tied ; it is a sign that they are vicious, and passers-by 
must be on guard. Now a passage is cleared for some dignified patri- 
cian, who, wrapped in his toga, reclining in his luxurious litter, and 
borne on the broad shoulders of six stalwart slaves, makes his way to 
the Forum attended by a train of clients and retainers. In his rear, 
stepping from stone to stone* across the slippery street wet by the 
recent rains, we spy some popular personage on foot, whose advance 
is constantly retarded by his demonstrative acquaintances, who throng 
about him, seize his hand, and cover his lips with kisses, f 

The open cook-shops swarm with slaves who hover over steaming 
kettles, preparing breakfast for their wonted customers ; and the tables 
of the vintners, reaching far out upon, the wayside, are covered with 
bottles, protected from passing pilferers by chains. The restaurants 
are hung with festoons of greens and flowers ; the image of a goat,:j: 
carved on a wooden tablet, betokens a milk depot ; five hams, ranged 

* In Pompeii, the sidewalks are elevated a foot or more above the street level, 
and protected by curbstones. Remains of the stucco or the coarse brickwork mosaic 
which covered them are still seen. In many places the streets are so narrow that 
they may be crossed at one stride ; where they are wider, a raised stepping-stone, 
and sometimes two or three, have been placed in the center of the crossing. Though 
these stones were in the middle of the carriage-way, the wheels of the Mga, or two- 
horsed chariot, could roll in the spaces between, while the loosely harnessed horses 
might step over them or pass by the side. Among the suggestive objects in the 
exhumed city are the hollows worn in these stepping-stones by feet which were for- 
ever stilled more than eighteen hundred years ago. 

t " At every meeting in the street a person was exposed to a number of kisses, 
not only from near acquaintance, but from every one who desired to show his attach- 
ment, among whom there were often mouths not so clean as they might be. Tiberius, 
who wished himself not to be humbled by this custom, issued an edict against it, 
but it does not appear to have done much good. In winter only it was considered 
improper to annoy another with one's cold lips." — Becker's Gallus. 

X A goat driven about from door to door, to be milked for customers, is a common 
sight in Rome to-day, where children come out with gill or half-pint cups to get their 
morning ration. 


in a row, proclaim a provision store ; and a mill, driven by a mule, 
advertises a miller's and baker's shop, both in one. About the street 
corners are groups of loungers collected for their morning gossip, 
while gymnasts and gladiators, clowns, conjurors, snake charmers, and 
a crowd of strolling swine — who roam at will about the imperial city — 
help to obstruct the narrow, tortuous highways. The professional 
street-beggars are out in force ; squatting upon little squares of mat- 
ting, they piteously implore a dole, or, feigning epilepsy, fall at the 
feet of some rich passer-by. Strangers, too, are here, men of foreign 
costume and bearing, come from afar to see the wonders of the world - 
conquering city, and, as they gaze distractedly about, dazed by the din 
of rumbling wagons, shouting drivers, shrill-voiced hucksters, braying 
asses, and surging multitudes, suddenly there comes a lull. The 
slaves, whose task it is to watch the sun-dials and report the expiration 
of each hour, have announced that the sun has passed the midday line 
upon the pavement. Soon all tumult ceases, and for one hour the city 
is wrapped in silence. 

The luxurious siesta over, Rome awakes to new enjoyment. Now 
come the pleasures and excitement of the circus and the theatre, or 
the sports upon the Campus Martins, whither the young fashionables 
repair in crowds, to swim, run, ride, or throw the javelin, watched 
by an admiring assembly of seniors and women who, clustered in 
porticoes, are sheltered from the burning sun. Then follows the luxury 
of the warm and vapor baths, with perfuming and anointing, and every 
refinement of physical refreshment as a preparation for the coming 
coena or dinner (p. 306). But wherever one may seek enjoyment for 
the early evening, it is well to be housed before night comes on, for 
the streets of Rome swarm with nocturnal highwaymen, marauders, 
and high-blooded rowdies, who set the police at open defiance, and 
keep whole districts in terror. There are other dangers, too, for night 
is the time chosen by the careful housewife to dump the slops and 
debris from her upper windows into the open drain of the street below. 
Fires, also, are frequent, and, though the night-watch is provided with 
hatchets and buckets to resist its progress, a conflagration once started 
in the crowded Suburra or Velabrum spreads with fearful rapidity, 
and will soon render hundreds of families homeless.* Meanwhile, 
the carts, shut out by law during the daytime, crowd and jostle one 
another in the eagerness of their noisy drivers to finish their duties 

* The tenements of the lower classes in Rome were so crowded that often whole 
families were huddled together in one small room. The different stories were reached 
by stairways placed on the outside of the buildings. — There were no fire-insurance 
companies, but the sufferers were munificently recompensed by generous citizens, 
their lotis being not only made good in money, but followed by presents of books, 
pictures, statues, and choice mosaics, from their zealous friends. Martial insinuates 
that on this account parties were sometimes tempted to fire their own premises. 

302 EOME. 

and be at liberty for the night, while, here and there, groups of smok- 
ing flambeaux mark the well-armed trains of the patricians on their 
return from evening banquets. As the night advances, the sights and 
sounds gradually fade and die away, till in the first hours of the new 
day the glimmering lantern of the last wandering pedestrian has dis- 
appeared, and the great city lies under the stars asleep. 

Scene II. — A Roman Home* — We will not visit one of the tall 
lodging-houses which crowd the Suburra, though in passing we may 
glance at the plain, bare, outside wall, with its few small windows f 
placed in the upper stories and graced with pots of flowers ; and at 
the outside stairs biy which the inmates mount to those dizzy heights, 
and under which the midnight robber and assassin often lurk. Some- 
times we see a gabled front or end with a sloping roof, or feel the shade 
of projecting balconies which stretch far over the narrow street. On 
many a flat roof, paved with stucco, stone, or metal, and covered with 
earth, grow fragrant shrubs and flowers. Coming into more aristo- 
cratic neighborhoods, we yet see little domestic architecture to attract 
us. It is only when a spacious vestibule, adorned with statues and 
mosaic pillars, lies open to the street that we 
have any intimation of the luxury within a 
Roman dwelling. If, entering such a vestibule, 
we rap with the bronze knocker, the unfast- 
ened folding-doors are pushed aside by the wait- 
ing janitor (who first peeps at us through the 
large open spaces in the door-posts),:}: and we find 
ourselves in the little ostium or entrance hall 
leading to the atrium. Here we are greeted, 
not only by the " sahe " (welcome) on the mosaic 
pavement, but by the same cheerful word . chat- 
A ROMAN LAMP tered by a trained parrot hanging above the 

door. We linger to notice the curiously carved 
door-posts, inlaid with tortoise-shell, and the door itself, which, instead 

* No traces of ancient private dwellings exist in Kome, except in tlie ruins of the 
Palace of the Cfcsars on the Palatine, where the so-called house of Livia, wife of 
Augustus, remains tolerably perfect. It is similar in dimensions and arrangement to 
the best Pompeian dwellings, though far superiornn paintings and decorations. The 
" House of Pansa " in Pompeii, the plan of which is described in the text, is consid- 
ered a good representative example of a wealthy Roman's home. 

t Panes of glass have been found in Pompeii, though it was more usual to close 
the window-holes with movable wooden shutters, clay tablets, talc, or nets. 

X In ancient times, the janitor, accompanied by a dog, was confined to his proper 
station by a chain. As it was not customary to keep the door locked, such a protec- 
tion was necessary. In the " House of the Tragic Poet," exhumed at Pompeii, a 
fierce black and white dog is depicted in the mosaic pavement, and underneath it is 
the inscription, " Cave Canbm " (Beware of the Dog). 


of hinges, is provided with wedge-shaped pins, fitting into sockets or 
rings, and then we pass into the atrium, the room about which cluster 
the most sacred memories of Roman domestic life. Here in ancient 
times all the simple meals were taken beside the hearth on which they 
were prepared, and by which the sacrifices were daily offered up to the 
beloved Lares and Penates/-' Here was welcomed the master's chosen 
bride, and here, a happy matron ,f she afterward sat enthroned in the 
midst of her industrious maids, spinning and weaving the household 
garments. From their niches upon these walls, by the side of glistening 
weapons captured in many a bloody contest, the waxen masks of honored 
ancestors have looked down for generations, watching the bodies of 
the family descendants as, one by one, they have lain in state upon the 
funeral bier. — But increase of luxury has banished the ste wing-pans, 
the busy looms, and the hospitable table to other apartments in the 
growing house. The Lares and Penates have left their primitive little 
closets by the atrium cooking-hearth for a larger and separate sacra- 
rium, and spacious kitchens now send forth savory odors from turbot, 
pheasant, wild-boar, and sausages, to be served up in summer or winter 
tricliniums by a host of well-trained slaves.^ The household dead are 
still laid here, but the waxen masks of olden times are gradually giv- 
ing place to brazen shield-shaped plates on which are dimly -imaged 

* At every meal, the first act was to cast a portion of each article of food into the 
fire that burned upon the hearth, in honor of the household gods. 

+ The Roman matron, unlike the Greek, enjoyed great freedom of action, both 
within and without her house, and was always treated with attention and respect. 

t The Romans were fond of amazing their guests with costly dainties, such as 
nightingales, peacocks, and the tongues and brains of flamingoes. Caligula dissolved 
pearls in powerful acids, in imitation of Cleopatra, and spent $400,000 on a single 
repast. A dramatic friend of Cicero paid over $4,000 for a dish of singing birds ; and 
one famous epicure, after having exhausted the sum of four million dollars in his 
good living, poisoned himself because he had not quite half a million left ! Fish was 
a favorite food, and the mansions of the rich were fitted up with fish-ponds (piscince) 
for the culture of rare varieties, which were sometimes caught and cooked on silver 
gridirons before invited guests, who enjoyed the changing colors of the slowly dying 
fish, and the tempting odor of the coming treat. Turbots, mackerels, eels and oys- 
ters were popular delicacies, and a fine mullet brought sometimes as much as $240. 
In game, the fatted hare and the wild boar, served whole, were ranked first. Pork, 
as in Greece, was the favorite meat, beef and mutton being regarded with little favor. 
Great display was made in serving, and Juvenal ridicules the airs of the professional 
carver of his time, who, he says — 

" Skips like a harlequin from place to place. 
And waves his knife with pantomimic grace — 
For different gestures by our curious men 
Are used for different dishes, hare and hen." 

In vegetables the Romans had lettuce, cabbage, turnips, and asparagus. Mush- 
rooms were highly prized. The poorer classes lived on cheap fish, boiled chick-peas, 
beans, lentils, barley bread, and puis or grueL 



features, or to bronze and marble busts* The little aperture in tlie 
center of the ceiling, which served the double purpose of escape for 
smoke and the admission of sunlight, has been enlarged, and is sup- 
ported by costly marble pillars, alternating with statues ; directly un- 
derneath it, the open cistern reflects each passing cloud and mirrors 
the now-unused altar, which, for tradition's sake, is still left standing 
by its side. When the rain, wind, or heat becomes severe, a tapestry 
curtain, hung horizontally, is drawn over the aperture, and some- 
times a pretty fountain, surrounded by flowering plants, embellishes 
the pool of water. Tapestries, sliding by rings on bars, conceal or 
open to view the apartments which adjoin the atrium. As we stand 
at the entrance-door of this spacious room,f with the curtains all 


drawn aside, we look down a long and beautiful vista ; past the 
central fountain and altar ; through the open tablinum, paved with 
marbles and devoted to the master's use ; into the peristyle, a hand- 
some open court surrounded by pillared arcades, paved with mosaics 
and beautified, like the atrium, with central fountain and flowers ; 
and still on, through the large banqueting hall, or family state-room 
(cBCUs), beyond the transverse corridor, and into the garden which 
stretches across the rear of the mansion. If we stop to glance into the 
library which adjoins the tablinum, we shall find its walls lined with 

* Pliny speaks of the craving for portrait-statues, which induced obscure persons, 
suddenly grown rich, to buy a fictitious ancestry, there being ready antiquarians 
then, as now, who made it a business to furnish satisfactory pedigrees. 

t The atrium in the House of Pansa was nearly fifty feet long and over thirty 
wide. As this was only a moderate-sized house in a provincial town, it is reasonable 
to suppose that the city houses of the rich were much more spacious. 


cupboards stored with parchment rolls and adorned with busts and 
pictures of illustrious men, crowned by the presiding statues of 
Minerva and the Muses. In general furniture, we notice beautiful 
tripod-stands holding graceful vases, chairs after Greek patterns, and 
lecti * on which to recline when reading or writing. Occasionally 
there is a small wall-mirror, made of polished metal, and the walls 
themselves are brilliantly painted in panels, bearing graceful floating 
figures and scenes of mythological design. The floors are paved 
with bricks, marbles, or mosaics, and the rooms are warmed or cooled 
by pipes through which flows hot or cold water. In extreme weather 
there are portable stoves. There is a profusion of quaintly-shaped 
bronze and even golden lamps, whose simple oil-fed wicks give forth 
at night a feeble glimmer.f As we pass through the fauces into the 
peristyle a serpent slowly uncoils itself from its nest in one of the 
alae, which has been made the household sanctuary,:}: and glides toward 
the triclinium in search of a crumb from the midday meal. 

The large triclinium, at the right of the peristyle, is furnished with 
elegantly inlaid sofas, which form three sides of a square about 
a costly cedar or citrus- wood table. § At banquets the sofas are 

* A lectus was neither bed nor sofa, but a simple frame with a low ledge at one 
end, and strung with girth on which a mattress and coverings were laid. Lecti were 
made of brass, or of cedar inlaid with ivory, tortoise-shell and precious metals, and 
were provided with ivory, gold, or silver feet. Writing-desks with stools were un- 
known ; the Roman reclined on the lectus when he wrote, resting his tablet upon 
his knee. 

+ The Romans were in the habit of making New- Year's gifts, such as dried figs, 
dates, and honey-comb as emblems of sweetness, or a little piece of money as a hope 
for good luck. But the favorite gift was a lamp, and great genius was displayed in 
the variety of elegant designs which were invented in search of the novel and unique. 

X Serpents were the emblems of the Lares, and were not only figured upon the 
altars, but, as a presence of good omen, a particular kind was kept as pets in the 
houses, where they nestled about the altars and came out like dogs or cats to be 
noticed by visitors, and to beg for something to eat. These sacred reptiles, which 
were of considerable size but harmless except to rats and mice, bore such a charmed 
life that their numbers became an intolerable nuisance. Pliny intimates that many 
of the fires in Rome were kindled purposely to destroy their eggs. 

§ The citrus-wood tables, so prized among the Romans, cost from $40,000 to 
$50,000 apiece. Seneca is said to have owned five hundred citrus-wood tables. 
Vases of murrha— a substance identified by modern scientists with glass, Chinese 
porcelain, agate, and fluor-spar— were fashionable, and fabulous sums were paid 
for them. An ex-consul under Nero had a murrha wine-ladle which cost him 
$300,000, and which on his death-bed he deliberately da?hed to pieces, to prevent 
its falling into the hands of the grasping tyrant. Bronze and marble statues were 
abundant in the houses and gardens of the rich, and cost from $150 for the work 
of an ordinary sculptor to $30,000 for a genuine Phidias, Scopas, or Praxiteles. To 
gratify such expensive tastes, large fortunes were necessary, and the Romans— in 
early times averse to anything but arms and agriculture— developed shrewd, sharp 
business qualities. They roamed over foreign countries in search of speculations, 
and turned out swarms of bankers and merchants, who amassed enormous sums to 



decked with white hangings embroidered with gold, and the soft wool- 
stufEed pillows upon which the guests recline are covered with gor- 
geous purple. Here, after his daily warm and vapor bath, the per- 
fumed and enervated Roman gathers a few friends— in number not 
more than the Muaes nor less than the Graces— for the evening supper 
{mna). The courses follow one another as at a Grecian banquet. 
Slaves * relieve the master and his guests from the most trifling effort, 

PLAN ui- The house of pansa. 

(v) The Vestibulum^ ox hull- (i) The Osiiuvt; (2) The Atrium, off which are six 
cubicula or sleeping-rooms; (5) The Tmpluvium, before which stands the 
pedestal or altar, of the household gods ; (4) The Tablinum, or chief room; 
(5) The Pinacotheca, or library and picture gallery; (6) The Fauces, or corri- 
dor; (7) The Peristylium. or court, with (8) its central fountain; (9) The 
Mcus, or state-room ; (10) The Triclinium ; (11) The kitchen ; (12) The 
transverse corridor, with garden beyond ; and (13) The Lararium, a recepta- 
cle for the more favorite gods, and lor statues of illustrious personages. 

carving- each person's food or breaking it into fragments which he 
can raise to his mouth with his fingers — forks being unknown — and 
pouring water on his hands at every remove. The strictest etiquette 
])revails ; long-time usages and traditions are followed ; libations are 
offered to the protecting gods ; spirited conversation, which is 
undignified and Greekish, is banished ; and only solemn or caustic 
aphorisms on life and manners are heard. "People at supper," 
says Varro, "should be neither mute nor loquacious: eloquence is 
for the forum ; silence for the bed-chamber." On high days, rules 
are banished ; the host becomes the " Father of the supper," convivial 
excesses grow coarse and absurd, and all the follies and vices of the 
Greek symposium are exaggerated. 

be spent on fashionable whims. (See Business Life in Ancient Borne. Harper's 
Half-hour Series.) 

* There were slaves for every species of service in a Roman household, and their 
number and versatility of handicraft remind one of the retinue of an Egyptian lord. 
Even the defective memory or limited talent of an indolent or over-taxed Roman 
was supplemented by a slave at his side whose business it was to recall forgotten 
incidents and duties, to tell him the names of the persons he met, or to suggest ap- 
propriate literary allusions in his conversation. 


Scene III. — A Triumphal Procession. — Rome is in her holiday 
attire. Streets and squares are festively adorned, and incense burns 
on the altars of the open temples. From steps and stands, improvised 
along the streets for the eager crowd, grow loud and louder shouts of 
" lo triumphe," for the procession has started from the triumphal gate 
on its way through the city up to the Capitol. First come the lictors, 
opening a passage for the senate, the city magistrates, and important 
citizens. Pipers and flute-players follow. Then appear the spoils and 
booty ; art-treasures, gold and silver coins, valuable plate, products of 
the conquered soil, armor, standards, models of captured cities and 
ships, pictures of battles, tablets inscribed with the victor's deeds, and 
statues personifying the towns and rivers of the newly-subjected 
land, — all carried by crowned soldiers on the points of long lances, 
or on portable stands. Chained kings, princes, aud nobles, doomed to 
the Mamertine prison, walk sulleffly behind their lost treasures. In 
their wake are the sacrificial oxen with gilt horns, accompanied by 
priests ; and then, preceded by singers, musicians, and jesters, the cen- 
tral object of all this grand parade — the victorious general.* Clad 
in a tunic borrowed from the statue of the Capitoline Jupiter, with the 
eagle-topped ivory scepter in his hand and the triumphal crown held 
above his head, the conqueror proudly stands in his four-horse chariot, 
followed by his equally proud, victorious army. Through the Flami- 
nian Circus, along the crowded Velabrum and the Circus Maximus, 
by the Via Sacra and the Forum, surges the vast procession up to the 
majestic Capitol. Here the triumphator lays his golden crown in the 
lap of Jupiter and makes the imposing sacrifice. A feast of unusual 
sumptuousness ends the eventful day. 

Scene IV. — The last of a Roman Emperor. — **It is the Roman 
habit to consecrate the emperors who leave heirs. The mortal re- 
mains are buried, according to custom, in a splendid manner ; but the 
wax image of the emperor is placed on an ivory bed, covered with gold- 
embroidered carpets, in front of the palace. The expression of the 
face is that of one dangerously ill. To the left side of the bed stand, 
during a greater part of the day, the members of the senate ; to the 
right, the ladies entitled by birth or marriage to appear at court, in the 
usual simple white mourning-dresses without gold ornaments or neck- 
laces. This ceremony lasts seven days, during which time the imperial 
physicians daily approach the bed as if to examine the patient, who, 
of course, is declining rapidly. At last they declare the emperor dead. 
The bier is now transported by the highest bom knights and the 

* Only dictators, consuls, praetors and, occasionally, legates were permitted the 
triumphal entrance. Sometimes the train of spoils and captives was so great that 
two, three, and even four days were required for the parade. In later times, the 
triumphal procession was exclusively reserved for the emi)eror. 

308 KOME. 

younger senators through the Via Sacra to the old Forum, and there 
deposited on a scafEolding built in the manner of a terrace. On one 
side stand young patricians, on the other noble ladies, intoning hymns 
and paeans in honor of the deceased to a solemn, sad tune ; after which 
the bier is taken up again, and carried to the Campus Martins. A 
wooden structure in the form of a house has been erected on large 
bl cks of wood on a square base ; the inside has been filled with dry 
sticks ; the outside is adorned with gold-embroidered carpets, ivory 
statues, and various sculptures. The bottom story, a little lower than 
the second, shows the same form and ornamentation as this ; it has 
open doors and windows ; above these two stories rise others, growing 
narrow toward the top like a pyramid. The whole structure might be 
compared to the lighthouses erected in harbors. The bier is placed 
in the second story, spices, incense, odoriferous fruits and herbs being 
heaped round it. After the whol»room has been filled with incense, 
the knights move in procession round the entire structure, and per- 
form some military evolutions ; they are followed by chariots filled 
with persons wearing masks and clad in purple robes, who represent 
historic characters, such as celebrated generals and kings. After these 
ceremonies are over, the heir to the throne throws a torch into the 
house, into which, at the same time, flames are dashed from all sides, 
which, fed by the combustible materials and the incense, soon begin 
to devour the building. At this juncture an eagle rises into the air 
from the highest story as from a lofty battlement, and carries, accord- 
ing to the idea of the I'omans, the soul of the dead emperor to heaven ; 
from that moment he partakes of the honors of the gods." — Herodian. 


1. Political History. — Rome began as a single city. The 
growth of her power was slow but steady. She became head, — -first, 
of the neighboring settlements; second, of Latium; third, of Italy; 
and fourth, of the lands around the Mediterranean. In her early his- 
tory, there was a fabulous period during wliich she was ruled by kings. 
The last of the S3ven monarchs belonged to a foreign dynasty, and 
upon his expulsion a republic was established. Two centuries of con- 
flict ensued between the patricians and the plebs, but the latter, going 
ofttimes to Mount Sacer, gained their end and established a democracy. 

Meanwhile, wars vvith powerful neighbors and with the awe-in- 
spiring Gauls had developed the Roman character in all its sternness, 
integrity, and patriotism. Rome next came in contact with Pyrrhus, 
and learned how to fortify her military camps ; then with Carthage, 
and she found out the value of a navy. An apt pupil, she gained the 

6 TT M M A R Y . 309 

mastery of tlie sea, invaded Africa, and in the end razed Carthage to 
the ground. Turning to the west, she secured Spain — the silver- 
producing country of that age — and Gaul, whose fiery sons lilled the 
depleted ranks of her legions. At the east, she intrigued where she 
could and fought where she must, and by disorganizing states made 
them first her dependencies, and then her provinces. Greece, Macedon, 
Asia Minor, Syria, Egypt, Babylon, were but stepping-stones in her 
progress until Parthia alone remained to bar her advance to the Indus 
and the ocean. 

But within her gates the struggle between the rich and the poor 
still went on. Crowds of slaves — captives of her many wars- 
thronged her streets, kept her shops, waited in her homes, tilled her 
land, and tended her flocks. The plebeians, shut out from honest 
toil, straggled for the patrician's dole. The Civil Wars of Sulla and 
Marius drenched her pavements wi*h the blood of her citizens. The 
triumphs of Caesar shed a gleam of glory over the fading republic, but 
the mis-aimed daggers of Brutus and Cassius that slew the dictator 
struck at the lieart of liberty as well. 

Augustus brought in the (Empire and an era of peace. Now the 
army gained control of the state. Weak and wicked emperors, the 
luxury of wealth, the influx of Oriental profligacy, the growth of 
atheism, and the greed of conquest, undermined the fabric of Roman 
greatness. The inhabitants of the provinces were made Romans, and, 
Rome itself being lost in the empire it had created, other cities became 
the seats of government. Amid the ruins of the decaying monarchy 
a new religion supplanted the old, and, finally, Teutonic hordes from 
the north overwhelmed the city that for centuries their own soldiers 
had alone upheld. 

2. Civilization. — As in Greece the four ancient Attic tribes were 
subdivided into phratries, gentes, and hearths, so in Rome the three 
original patrician tribes branched into curiae, gentes, and families, the 
paterfamilias owning all the property, and holding the life of his 
children at will. 

The ciml magistrates comprised consuls, questors, aediles, and 

The army was organized in legions, cohorts, companies, and cen- 
turies, with four classes of foot-soldiers, who fought with the pilum 
and the javelin, protected themselves with 'heavy breastplates, and 
carried on sieges by the aid of ballistas, battering-rams, catapults, and 
movable towers. In later times, the ranks were filled by foreigners 
and mercenaries. 

Roman literature, child of the Grecian, is rich with jnemorable 
names. Ushered in by Livius Andronicus, a Greek slave, it grew with 
Naevius, Ennius, Plautus, Terence, Cato, and Lucilius. The learned 

310 feOMfi. 

Varro, the florid Cicero, the sweet-strained Virgil, the genial Horace-, 
the eloquent Livy, and the polished Sallust, graced the last century 
before Christ. The next hundred years produced the studious Pliny 
the Elder, the two inseparable friends — Pliny the Younger and Taci- 
tus, the sarcastic Juvenal, and the wise Seneca. 

The monuments of the Romans comprise splendid aqueducts, 
triumphal arches, military roads, bridges, harbors, and tombs. Their 
magnificent palaces and luxurious thermae were fitted up with reckless 
extravagance and dazzling display. All the spoils of conquered 
nations enriched their capital, and all the foreign arts and inventions 
were impressed into their service. 

The proud, dignified, ambitious Roman had no love or tenderness 
for aught but his national supremacy. Seldom indulging in sentiment 
toward family or kindred, he recognized no law of humanity toward 
his slaves. His religion was a commercial bargain with the gods, in 
which each was at liberty to outwit the other. His icorship was mostly 
confined to the public ceremonies at the shrine of Vesta, and the con- 
stant household offerings to the Lares and Penates. Wi^ public games 
were a degraded imitation of the Grecian, and he took his chief delight 
in bloody gladiatorial shows and wild-beast fights. 

A race of borrowers, the Romans assimilated into their nationality 
most of the excellences as well as many of the vices of other peoples, 
for centuries stamping the whole civilized world with their character, 
and dominating it by their successes. " As to Rome all ancient history 
converges, so from Rome all modern history begins." 

Finally, as a central point in the history of all time, in the midst of 
the brilliancy of the Augustan Age, while Cicero, Sallust, Virgil, and 
Horace were fresh in the memory of their still living friends, with 
Seneca in his childhood and Livy in his prime, the empire at its best, 
and Rome radiant in its growing transformation from brick to marble 
under the guiding rule of the greatest of the Caesars, there was born 
in an obscure Roman province the humble Babe whose name far out- 
ranks all these, and from whose nativity are dated all the centuries 
which have succeeded. 


MerivaWs History of the Romans.— Iline's History of Rome, and Early Rome.— 
History Primers ; Rome, and Roman Antiquities, edited by Green. —Arnold's His- 
tory of Rome.—Mebuhr's History of Rome.— Smith's smaller History of Rome.— 
Gibb&n's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.— Ouhl and Konefs Life of the 
Qreeks and Romans.— KnighV s Social Life of the Romans— Plutarch' s Lives.— Mil- 
man's Mstory of Christianity.— Momtnsen's History of Rome.— Fronde's Life of Ccesar. 
—BeckeT''8 Charides, and GaUus.-Macaulay's Lays of Ancient B(mu.—ShaJc8pere'8 



Jiclitis Cmsar, Cojiolamts, and Antony and Cleopatra.— ForsyWs Life of Cicero. — 
Napoleon's {HI.) Life of Coesar.— Canina's Edifices of Ancient Bome.—FergussorC 8 
History of Arc/d!ecfure.—Bulic€r's Last Days of Poinpeii, and Pdenzi The Last of 
the Tribunes.— Michelet' s Roman Republic— Heeren''s Historical Researches.— Phiz's 
Hand-booh of Ancisnt History.— Harems Walks in Rome.—Kingsley's Hypatia— Lord's 
Old Roman World.— Mann's Ancient and MediavaZ Republics.— Lawrence' s Primer 
of Roman Literature.— Collins" s Ancient Classics far English Readers (a series 
giving sinking passages from the Greek and Roman classics, ivith excellent explana- 
tory notes, lives of the authors, etc.).— Dyer's Pompeii. — Herbe?inann's Business Life in 
Ancient Rome.— Quackenbos's Ancient Literature {a useful resume). 



Rome founded 753 

Republic est ublished 509 

The Decemvirs 451 

Rome fallen by Gauls 390 

First Samnite War 3-13-341 

Great Latin War 34>) -3:38 

Second Samnite War :2:;-3C4 

Third " " 298-290 

Wars with Pyrrhus 280-276 

First Punic War 264-241 

Second " " 218-201 

Battle of the Trebia 218 

*' " Lake Trasimenus 217 

" " Cannae. 216 

Siege of Capua 214-211 

Battle of the Metaurus 207 

" " Zama 202 

Second Macedonian War 200-197 

Fattle of Magnesia 190 

Death of Hannibal and Scipio Afri- 

canus 183 

Third Macedonian War 171-1C8 

Battle of Pydna 168 

Third Punic War 149-146 

Fall of Cartha;^e and Corinth 146 

Death of Tiberius Gracchus 133 

Jugurthine War 111-104 

Marius defeated Teutones at Aquae 

Sextise (Aix) 102 

Marius defeated Cimbri 101 

Social War 90-88 

First Mithridatic War 88-84 

Massacre by Marius 87 

Second Mithridatic War 83-81 

Sulla's Proscriptions 83 

Third Mithridatic War 74-63 

War of Spartacus. 73-71 

Mediterranean Pirates 67 

Conspiracjr of Catiline 63 

First Triumvirate 60 

Caesar in Gaul 58-49 

" invades Britain 55 

" crosses the Rubicon 49 

Battle of Pharsalia— death of Pom- 

pey 48 

Suicide of Cato 46 

Caesar murdered 44 

Second Triumvirate, death of Cicero 43 
Battle of Philippi, death of Brutus 

and Cassius 42 

Battle of Actium 31 

r Augustus. 


A. D. 

Tiberius 14 

Caligula 37 

t Claudius 41 

H Nero 54 

Galba 68 

Otho 69 

ViteUius 69 

Vespasian 69 

Titus 79 

Domitian 81 

Nerva 96 

Trajan 98 

Hadrian 117 

Antoninus Pius 138 

M. Aurelius Antoninus 161-180 

L. Verus 161-169 

Commodus 180 

Pertrnax 193 

Didius Julianus . 193 

Septimius Severus 193 

Caracallus 211-217 

Geta 211-212 

Macrinus 217 

Elagabalus (the sun-priest) 218 

Alexander Severus ...,,,..,,..,,.., ^ 




Gordian I. } 

Gordianll. ) 

Piipienus Maximus ) 

Balbinus ) 

Gordian III 

Philip the Arabian 






Claudius II 




Probus ... * — 


Carinns and Numerian . . 

Diocletian, with Maximian 

Constantius, with Galerius 

Constantine I. (the Great), with Ga- 
lerius, Severus, and Maxentius. . . 




Constantine, with Licinius 307 

Constantine, with Maximinus 308 

Constantine, alone 323 

Constantine II., Constantius n., 

Constans 1 337 

Julian the Apostate 861 

Jovian 363 

Valentinianl 364 

Gratian and Valentinian II 375 

Valentinian II. . . 383 

Theodosius (East and West) ..... 392 

Honorius 395 

Theodosius II. (East and West) 423 

Valentinian III 425 

Petronius Maximus 455 

Avitus 455 

Majorian 457 

Libius Severus 461 

Anthemius 467 

Olybrius 472 

Glycerins 473 

Julius Nepos 474 

Komulus Augustulus 475-476 


Medieval Peoples 




I— ( 

' 1. Introduction. ■ 

Rise of the 

Rise of tfie 

4. Rise of IVIoci- 
ern Nations. 

1. Chief Events of Middle Ages. Characteristics. 

2. General Divisions. 

3. The Teutonic Settlements. 

4. The Character of the Teutonic Conquest. 

5. The Eastern Empire. 

6. The Papacy. 

7. Early German Civilization. 

1. Mohammed. 

2. The Caliphs. 

3. Saracens in Europe. Extent of Empire. 

4. Saracen Divisions. 

5. Saracen Civilization. 

1. Clovis and the Franks. Merovingian Dynasty. 
Pepin the Short. Carlovingian Dynasty. 
His Conquests. 
Crowued Emperor. 
Charlemagne and his Court. 


3. Charlemagne. 


1. England. 

2. France. 

[. The Four Conquests. 

Gro\vth of Consti- 
tutional liberty. 

b. Anglo-Saxon. 

c. Danuh. 

d. Norman. 

a. Ritnn/ymede 
and Magna 
The House of 


3 Conquest of Ireland. 

4. Conquest of Wales. 

5. Conquest of Scotland. 

6. Wars of the Roses. 

7. Early English Civilization. 

1. Rollo and the Norsemen. 

2. Capet. The Capetian Dynasty. 

3. Weakness of the Monarchy. 

C a. Philip Augustus, 
b. Louis IX. 

4. Growth of the 
Monarchy under 

c. Philip IV. 

d. Louis XL 

— Tnumph of Ab- 

3. Germany 

4. Switzerland 

5. Italy in the Middle Ages. 

6. The Crusades. 

7. The Moors in Spain. 

Asia in the Middle Ages,") 2. The Turki 
'' 1. Feudalism 

9. Mediaeval Civilization. 

5. House of Valois. 

6. Tlie Hundred- Years War. 
T. The Kingdom of Burgundy 

8. Consolidation of French Monarchy. 

9. Early French Civilizaiion. 

1. Comparison with France. 

2. The Saxon Dynasty. 
The Franconian Dynasty. 
The Hohenstaufen Line. 
Great Interregnum. 
The Hapsburgs. 

Three Great Battles. 
Growth of the Confederacy. 

1. Papal Power. 

f 1. Venice. 


t 4. Rome. 
1-8. The Eight Crusades. 
9. Effects of the Crusades. 
1. The Monguls. 

[When writing upon the 
blackboard, the pupil can fill 
out the subdivisions from the 
headings of the paragraphs in 
the text.] 

. 3. 

2. The Castle. 

3. Chivalry. 

4. The Knight. 
5 The Tournament 

6. Education and Literature 

7. Manners and Customs. 

^V[edI;CVAL pEOf ^^^ 



The Middle Ages extend 
from the Fall of Eome (476) 
to the capture of Constantino- 
ple (1453)— about 1000 years. 
During this period the chief 
events were the migrations of the northern barbarians 
(p. 266) ; the invasion of the Saracens ; the establish- 

Geoffvaphical Questions.— These queries are intended to test the pupil's 
knowledge, to make him familiar with the maps of the Middle Ages and prepare him 
to locate the history he is about to study. See list of maps, p. xii. Bound Syria, 
Arabia, Gaul, Britain, Spain, Norway, Sweden, France, Italy, Germany, Hungary, 


ment of the Frankish kingdom, including the empire of 
Charlemagne ; the rise of the modern nations ; the Cru- 
sades; the Hundred- Years War ; and the Wars of the Roses. 
The era was, in general, characterized by the decline of 
letters and art, the rise of Feudalism or the rule of the 
nobles, and the supremacy of the Papal Power. 

Two Divisions. — Six of the ten centuries composing this 
period are called the Dark Ages — a long night following the 
brilliant day of Roman civilization. The last four centuries 
constitute the dawn of the Modern Era. Wandering tribes 
then became settled nations ; learning revived ; and order 
and civilization began to resume their sway. 

A new era of the world began in the 5th century. The 
gods of Greece and Rome had passed away, and a better 
religion was taking their place. The old actors had vanished 
from the stage, and strange names appeared. Europe pre- 
sented a scene of chaos. The institutions of centuries had 
crumbled. Everywhere among the ruins barbarian hordes 
were struggling for the mastery. Amid this confusion we 
are to trace the gradual outgrowth of the modern nation- 
Poland, Russia.— Locate Carthage, Jerusalem, Mecca, Damascus, Bagdad, Alex- 
andria, Acre, Tunis, Moscow, Delhi, Constantinople. 

Locate Tours, Eheims, Fontenay, Verdun, Cr^cy, Poitiers, Azincourt, Limoges, 
Calais, Eouen, Orleans, Metz, Avignon, Bordeaux.— Locate Cordova, Seville,- Gra- 
nada, Castile, Aragon, Leon. 

Locate Lombardy, Sicily, Pisa, Genoa, Eome, Florence, Milan, Naples, Venice, 
Salerno, Legnano, Padua, Bologna, Savoy. 

Locate London, Hastings, Oxford, Runnymede, Lewes, Bosworth, Dover, Ban- 
nockburn.— Locate the Netherlands (Low Countries), Flanders, Bouvines, Courtrai, 
Ghent, Bruges, Rosebecque, Aix-la-Chapelle.- Describe the Indus, Rhine, Rhone, 
Danube, Seine, Loire.— Point out Bavaria, Saxony, Franconia, Swabia, Thuringia, 
Basle, Prague, Worms, Waiblingen. 

Point out the French provinces ; Normandy, Provence, Aquitaine, Brittany, Bur- 
gundy, Champaigne, Maine, Anjou, Toulouse, Valois, Navarre, Gascony, Lorraine, 
Armagnac', Alsace, Franche Cornt^.— Locate Granson, Morat, Nancy, Morgarten, 
Sempach, Geneva. 


alities.* Heretofore the history of one great nation has been 
that of the civilized world, changing its name only as power 
passed, from time to time, into the hands of a different 
people. Henceforth there are to be not one but many cen- 
ters of civilization. 

Teutonic Settlements. — The Teutons or Germans 
(p. 322) were the chief heirs of Rome. By the 6th century 
the Vandals had established a province in northern Africa ; 
the Visigoths had set up a Gothic kingdom in Spain and 
in southern Gaul (p. 268) ; the Franks, under Clovis, 
had firmly planted themselves in northern Gaul ; the BuT- 
gundians had occupied south-eastern Gaul; and the Anglo- 
Saxons had crossed the channel and conquered a large part 
of Britain. 

The Ostrogoths, under Theodoric (489), cHmbed the Alps 
and overthrew Odoacer, the king of Italy (page 269). 
Theodoric established his government at Ravenna, under a 
nominal commission from the Emperor of Constantinople. 
The Visigoths accepted him as chief, and his kingdom ulti- 
mately extended from the heart of Spain to the Danube. 
An Arian, he yet favored the Catholics ; and, though unable 
to read or write, encouraged learning. "The fair-haired 
Goths," says Collier, ^'^ still wearing their furs and brogues, 
carried the sword ; while the Romans, wrapped in the flow- 
ing toga, held the pen and filled the schools." 

Character of the Teutonic Conquest f — In Italy, 

* The thoughtful student of history sees in the Middle Ages a time not of decay, 
but of preparation ; a period during which the seeds of a better growth were germi- 
nating in the soil. Amid feudal chaos, the nations were being molded, language was 
forming, thought taking shape, and social forces were gathering that were to bear 
mankind to a higher civilization than the world had ever seen. 

t While the Teutonic conquest, in the end, brought into Mediaeval civilization a 
new force, a sense of personal liberty, and domestic virtues unknown to the Ko- 
mans, yet, at the time, it seemed an undoing of the best work of ages. During the 
merciless massacre that lasted for centuries upon the island of Britain, the priests 
were slain at the altar, the churches burned, and the inhabitants nearly annihilated ; 


Gaul, and Spain, the various Teutonic tribes did not expel, 
but absorbed, the native population. The two races 
gradually blended. Out of the mingling of the German 
and the Roman speech, there grew up in time the Ro- 
mance languages — Spanish, Italian, and French. Latin, 
however, was for centuries used in writing. Thus the 
Roman names and forms remained after the empire had 
fallen. The invaders adopted the laws, civilization, and 
Christian religion of the conquered. The old clergy retained 
their places, and their influence was greatly increased ; the 
churches became a common refuge, and the bisho'ps the 
only protectors of the poor and weak. 

On the contrary, the Anglo-Saxons, who conquered 
Britain, enslaved or drove back the few natives who sur- 
vived the horrors of the invasion. Not having been, while 
in Germany, brought in contact with the Roman power, 
these Teutons had no i*espect for its superior civilization. 
They did not, therefore, adopt either the Roman language 
or religion. Christianity came at a later day ; while the Eng- 
lish speech is still in its essence the same that our forefathers 
brought over from the wilds of Germany. 

The Eastern, Greek, or Byzantine Empire, as it is 
variously called, was governed by effeminate princes until 
the time of Justinian (527), who won back a large part of 

while the Roman and Christian civilization was blotted out, and a barbaric rule 
set up in its place. The cruel Vandals in Spain (p. 269) found fertile, populous 
Roman provinces; they left behind them a desert. The Burj^undians were the 
mildest of the Teutonic conquerors, yet where they settled they compelled the in- 
habitants to give up two-thirds of the land, one-half of the houses, gardens, groves, 
etc., and one-third of the slaves. Italy, under the ravages of the terrible Lombards 
and other northern hordes, became a " wilderness overgrown with brushwood and 
black with stagnant marshes." Its once cultivated fields were barren ; a few miser- 
able people wandered in fear among the ruins of the churches— their hiding-places- 
while the land was covered with the bones of the slain. Rome became almost as 
desolate as Babylon. " The baths and temples had been spared by the barbarians, 
and the water still poured through the mighty aqueducts, but at one time there were 
pot five hundred persons dwelling among the magnificent ruins." 


the lost empire. His famous general Belisarius captured 
Carthage,* and overwhelmed the Vandal power in Africa. 
He next invaded Italy and took Rome, but being recalled by 
Justinian, who was envious of the popularity of his great 
general, the eunuch Narses was sent thither, and, under his 
skillful management, the very race and name of the Ostro- 
goths perished. Italy was now united to the Eastern 
Empire, and governed by rulers called the Exarchs of 
Ravenna. So Justinian reigned over both Old and New 

The Roman laws, at this time, consisted of the decrees, 
and often the chance expressions of the three-score emperors 
from Hadrian to Justinian." They filled thousands of vol- 
umes, and were frequently contradictory. Tribonian, a 
celebrated lawyer, was employed to bring order out of this 
chaos. He condensed the laws into a code that is still the 
basis of the civil law of Europe. 

During this reign, two Persian monks, who had gone to 
China as Christian missionaries, brought back to Justinian 
the eggs of the silk- worm concealed in a hollow cane. Silk 
manufacture was thus introduced into Europe. 

The Lombards (568), a fierce German tribe, after Jus- 
tinian's death poured into Italy and overran the fruitful 
plain that still bears their name. , For about 200 years the 
Lombard kings shared Italy with the Exarchs of Ravenna. 

The Papacy. — During these centuries of change, confu- 
sion, and ruin, the Christian Church had alone retained its 

* Among the treasures of Carthage were the sacred vessels of the temple at Jeru- 
salem taken by Titus to Rome, and thence carried to Carthage by Genseric. As 
these relics were thought to presage ruin to the city which kept them, they were 
now returned to the Cathedral at Jerusalem, and their subsequent fate is unknown. 
According to the legend, contradicted by many historians but eagerly seized by 
poets and painters, Belisarius in his old age was falsely accused of treason, degraded 
from his honors, and deprived of his sight : often thereafter the blind old man was 
to be seen standing at the Cathedral door, begging " a penny for Belisarius, the 



organization. The barbarians, even the Lombards — the 
most cruel of all — were in time converted to Christianity. 
The people who, until the overthrow of the emperor, had 
been accustomed to depend upon Kome for political guid- 
ance, naturally continued to look thither for spiritual con- 
trol, and the Bishop of Rome insensibly became the head of 
the Catholic Church. " Thus for centuries the Papacy (Lat. 
Papa, a bishop) kept gaining strength, the Christian fathers 
Ambrose, Augustine, Jerome, Gregory the Great, and a host 
of other active intellects, shaping its doctrines and disci- 
pline. Finally "a new Rome rose from the ashes of the 
old, far mightier than the vanished empire, for it claimed 
dominion over the spirits of men." 

The Patriarch of Constantinople also asserted the pre- 
eminence of his See, and, on account of the opposition he 
met from Rome, the Eastern, or Greek, church gradually 
separated from the Western, or Roman, in interest, disci- 
pline, and doctrine. 




Two thousand years ago, in the dense forests and gloomy marshes 
of a rude, bleak land, dwelt a gigantic, white skinned, blue-eyed, yel- 
low-haired race — our German ancestors. 

The Men, fierce and powerful, wore over their huge bodies a short 
girdled cloak, or the skin of some wild beast, whose head, with pro- 
truding tusks or horns, formed a hideous setting for their bearded faces 
and cold, cruel eyes. Brave, hospitable, restless, ferocious, they wor- 
shipped freedom, and were ready to fight to the death for their personal 
independence. They cared much less for agriculture than for hunting, 
and delighted in war. Their chief vices were gambling and drunken- 
ness ; their conspicuous virtues were truthfulness and respect for 

The Women — massive like the men, and wooed with a marriage 
gift of war-horse, shield, and weapons — spun and wove, cared for the 
household, tilled the ground, and went with their lords to battle, where 
their shouts rang above the clash of the spear and the thud of the war- 
axe. They held religious festivals, at which no man was allowed to be 
present, and they were believed to possess a special gift of foresight ; 
yet, for all that, the Teuton wife was bought from her kindred and 
was subject to her spouse. As priestesses, they cut the throats of war- 
captives and read portents in the flowing blood ; and after a lost battle 
they killed themselves beside their slaughtered husbands. 

The Home — when there was one— was a hut made of logs filled in 
with platted withes, straw, and lime, and covered by a thatched roof, 
which also sheltered the cattle. Here the children were reared, hard- 
ened from their babyhood with ice-cold baths, given weapons for play- 
things, and for bed a bear's hide laid on the ground. Many tribes were 
such lawless wanderers that they knew not the meaning of home, and 
all hated the confinement of walled towns or cities, which they likened 
to prisons. 

Civil Institutions and Government. — Every tribe had its 
nobles, freemen, freedmen, and slaves. When there was a king, he 
was elected from a royal family — the traditional descendants of the 
divine Woden. All freemen had equal rights and a personal voice in 
the government ; the freedman or peasant was allowed to bear arms, 
but not to vote ; the slave was classed with the beast as the absolute 
property of his owner. 

The Land belonging to a tribe was divided into districts, hun- 
dreds, and marks. The inhabitants of a mark were usually kindred, 
who dwelt on scattered homesteads and held its unoccupied lands in 


common. The mark and the hundred, as well as the district, had each 
its own stated open air assembly, where were settled the petty local dis- 
putes ; its members sat together in the tribal assembly, and fought side 
by side in battle. (Compare with Greeks, p. 192.) 

The General Asumbly of the tribe was also held in the open air, 
near some sacred tree, at new or full moon. Hither flocked all the 
freemen in full armor. The night was spent in noisy discussion and 
festive carousal. As the great ox-horns of ale or mead were passed 
from hand to hand, measures of gravest importance were adopted by a 
ringing clash of weapons or rejected with cries and groans, till the whole 
forest resounded with the tumult. When the din became intolerable, 
silence was proclaimed in the name of the gods. The next day the few 
who were still sober reconsidered the night's debate and gave a final 

The Family was the unit of German society. Every household 
was a little republic, its head being responsible to the community for 
its acts. The person and the home were sacred, and no law could 
seize a man in his own house; in extreme cases, his well might be 
choked up and his dwelling fired or unroofed, but no one presumed to 
break open his door. As each family redressed its own wrongs, a slain 
kinsman was an appeal to every member for vengeance. The bloody 
complications to which this system led were, in later times, mitigated 
by the iceregeld, a legal tariff of compensations by which even a mur- 
derer (if not wilful) might " stop the feud" by paying a prescribed sum 
to the injured family, '(p. 348.) 

Fellowship in Arms.— The stubbornness with which the Ger- 
man resisted personal coercion was equaled by his zeal as a voluntary 
follower. From him came the idea of giving service for reward, which 
afterward expanded into Feudalism (p. 408), and influenced European 
society for hundreds of years. In time of war, young freemen were 
wont to bind themselves together under a chosen leader, whom they 
hoisted on a shield and thus, amid the clash of arms and smoke of 
sacrifice, formally adopted as their chief. Henceforth they rendered him 
an unswerving devotion. On the field they were his body-guard, and 
in peace they lived upon his bounty, sharing in the rewards of victory. 
For a warrior to return alive from a battle in which his leader was 
slain was a life-long disgrace. — These voluntary unions formed the 
strength of the army. The renown of a successful chief spread to other 
tribes ; presents and embassies were sent to him ; his followers multi- 
plied and his conquests extended until, at last — as in the Saxon inva- 
sions of England — he won for himself a kingdom and made princes of 
his bravest liegemen. 

The Germans fought with clubs, lances, axes, arrows, and 
spears. They roused themselves to action with a boisterous war-song, 




increasing the frightful clamor by placing their hollow shields before 
their faces. Metal armor and helmets were scarce, and their shields 
were made of wood or platted twigs * Yet when Julius Csesar crossed 
the Rhine, even his iron-clad legions failed to daunt these sturdy war- 
riors, who boasted that they upheld the heavens with their lances, and 
had not slept under a roof for years. They fiercely resisted the encroach- 
ments of their southern invaders, and when, at the close of the second 
century A. d. the Emperor Commodus bought with gold the peace he 
could not win with the sword, he found that one tribe alone had taken 
fifty thousand, and another one hundred thousand Homan prisoners. 

The Teutonic Keligion encouraged bravery and even reckless- 
ness in battle, for it taught that only those who fell by the sword could 
enter Walhalla, the palace of the great god Woden, whither they 

* What they lacked in armor they made up in pluck and endurance. When the 
Cimbri invaded Italy by way of'the Tyrol (102 b. c), they stripped their huge bodies 
and plunged into the frozen snow, or, sitting on their gaudy shields, coasted down 
the dangerous descents with shouts of savage laughter, while the Bomans in the 
passes below looked ou in wondering dismay. 


moniited on the rainbow, and where they fought and feasted forever. 
Those who died of illness or old age went to a land of ice and fogs. 
The gods — including the sun, moon, and other powers of nature — were 
worshiped in sacred groves, on heaths and holy mountains, or under 
single, gigantic trees. Human sacrifices were sometimes offered, but 
the favorite victim, as in ancient Persia, was a horse, the flesh of which 
was cooked and eaten by the worshipers. In later times, the eating of 
horseflesh became a mark of distinction between heathen and Christian. 
Our week-days perpetuate the names under which some of the chief 
Teutonic gods were known. Thus we have the Sun^&j, the Moon-daj, 
Tui's day, Woden's day, Thor's day, Freya-ddij, and ScBterAdLj. 

Agriculture, Arts, and Letters.— Among the forests and 
marshes of Germany, the Romans found cultivated fields and rich pas- 
tures. There were neither roads nor bridges, but for months in the 
year the great rivers were frozen so deeply that an army could pass on 
the ice. From the iron in the mountains the men made domestic, 
farming, and war utensils, and from the flax in the field the women 
spun and wove garments. There were rude plows for the farm, chariots 
for religious rites, and cars for the war-march ; but beyond these few 
simple arts, the Germans were little better than savages. — The time of 
Christ was near. Over four centuries had passed since the brilliant 
Age of Pericles in Athens, and three centuries since the founding of 
the Alexandrian library ; Virgil and Horace had laid down their pens, 
and Livy was still at work on his closely- written parchments ; Rome, 
rich in the splendor of the xlugustan Age, was founding libraries, es- 
tablishing museums, and bringing forth poets, orators, and statesmen ; 
yet the great nation, whose descendants were to include Goethe, 
Shakspere, and Mendelssohn, had not a native book, knew nothing of 
writing, and shouted ita savage war-song to the uproar of rude drums 
and great blasts on the painted horns of a wild bull. 

The Germans in Later Times.— Before even the era of the 
Great Migration (p. 266), the fifty scattered tribes had become united 
in vast confederations, chief among which were the Saxons, Allemanni, 
Burgundians, Goths, Franks, Vandals, and Longobards (Lombards). 
Led sometimes by their hard forest fare, sometimes by the love of ad- 
venture, they constantly sent forth th-^nr surplus population to attack 
and pillage foreign lands. For centuries, Germany was like a hive 
whence ever and anon swarmed vast hordes of hardy warriors, who set 
out with their families and goods to find a new home. Legions of 
German soldiers were constantly enlisted to fight under the Roman 
eagles. The veterans returned home with new habits of thought and 
life. Their stories of the magnificence and grandeur of the Mistress of 
the World excited the imagination and kindled the ardor of their lis- 
teners. Gradually the Roman civilization and the glory of the Roman 



name accomplished what the sword had failed to effect. Around the 
forts along the Rhine, cities grew up, such as Mayence, Worms, Baden, 
Cologne, and Strasburg. The frontier provinces slowly took on the 
habits of luxurious Rome. Merchants came thither with the rich 
fabrics and ornaments of the south and east, and took thence amber, 
fur, and human hair, — for now that so many Germans had acquired 
fame and power in the Imperial army, yellow wigs had become the 
Roman fashion. Commerce thus steadily filtered down through the 
northern forests, until at last it reached the Baltic Sea. 



Mohammed. — Now for the first time since the over- 
throw of Carthage by Scipio (p. 235), a Semitic people 
comes to the front in history. Early in the 7th century 
there arose in Arabia a reformer named Mohammed,* who 

* Mohammed, or Mahomet, was bom at Mecca about 570 A. d. Left an orphan at 
an early age, he became a camel-driver, and finally entered the service of a rich 
widow named Khadijah. She was so pleased with his fidelity, that she offered him 
her hand, although she was forty and he but twenty-five years old. He was now 
free to indulge his taste for meditation, and often retired to the desert, spending 
whole nights in revery. At the age of forty— a mystic number in the East— he de- 
clared that the angel Gabriel had appeared to him in a vision, commissioning him to 
preach a new faith. Khadijah was his first convert. After a time, he publicly re- 
nounced idol-worship, and proclaimed himself a prophet. Persecution waxed hot, 
and he was forced to flee for his life. This era is known among the Moslems 
as the Hegira. Mohammed now took refuge in a cave. His enemies came to the. 
mouth, but seeing a spider's web across ttie entrance, passed on in pursuit. The 
fugitive secured an asylum in Medina, where the new faith spread rapidly, and Mo- 
hammed soon found himself at the head of an army. Full of courago and enthusiasm, 
he aroused his followers to a fanatical devotion. Thus, in the battle of Muta, Jaafer, 





taught a new religion. Its substance was, '' There is but 
one God, and Mohammed is his prophet." Converts were 
made by force of arms. '^ Paradise," said Mohammed, " will 
be found in the shadow of the crossing of swords." The 
only choice given the vanquished was the Koran, tribute, or 
death. Before the close of his stormy life (632), the green- 
robed warrior-prophet had subdued the scattered tribes of 
Arabia, destroyed their idols, and united the people in one 

The Caliphs, or successors of Mohammed, rapidly fol- 
lowed up the triumphs of the new faith. Syria and Palestine 
were conquered. When Jerusalem opened its gates, Omar, 
the second caliph, austere and ascetic, rode thither from 
Medina upon a red-haired camel, carrying a bag of rice, one 
of dates, and a leathern bottle of water. The mosque bear- 

when his right hand was struck off, seized the banner in his left, and, when the left 
was severed, he still embraced the flag with the bleeding stumps, and fell only when 
pierced by fifty wound?.— Mohammed made known his doctrines in fragments, which 
his followers wrote upon sheep-bones and palm-leaves. His successor, Abou Baker, 
collected these pretended revelations into the Koran— the sacred book of the Moham- 



ing his name still stands on the site of the ancient Temple. 
Persia was subdued, and the religion of Zoroaster nearly 
extinguished. Forty-six years after Mohammed's flight 
from Mecca, the scimiters of the Saracens were seen from 
the walls of Constantinople. During one siege of seven 
years (668-675), and another of thirteen months, nothing 
saved New Kome but the torrents of Greek fire* that 
poured from its battlements. Meanwhile, Egypt fell, and, 
after the capture of Alexandria, the flames of its four thou- 
sand baths f were fed for six months with the priceless man- 
uscripts from the library of the Ptolemies. Still westward 
through Northern Africa the Arabs made their way, until at 
last their leader spurred his horse into the waves of the 
Atlantic, exclaiming, " Be my witness, God of Mohammed, 
that earth is wanting to my courage, rather than my zeal in 
thy service ! " 

Saracens Invade Europe. — In 711 the turbaned Mos- 
lems crossed the Strait of Gibraltar. Spain was quickly 
overrun, and a Moorish J kingdom finally established that 
lasted until the year of the discovery of America (p. 405). 
The Mohammedan leader boasted that he would yet enter 
Kome and preach in the Vatican, capture Constantinople, 
and then, having overthrown the "Roman Empire and Chris- 
tianity, he would return to Damascus and lay his vic- 
torious sword at the feet of the caliph. Soon the fearless 
riders of the desert poured through the passes of the Pyrenees 
and devastated southern Gaul. But on the plain of Tours 

* This consisted of naphtha, sulphur, and pitch. It was often hurled in red-hot, 
hollow balls of iron, or blown through copper tubes fancifully shaped in imitation of 
savage monsters, that seemed to vomit forth a stream of liquid fire. 

+ Gibbon rejects this story ; but the current statement is that Omar declared, " If 
the manuscripts agree with the Koran, they are useless , if they disagree, they should 
be destroyed." 

X The Saracens in Spain are usually called Moors— a term originally applied to the 
dark-colored natives of northern Africa. 





(732) the Saracen host met the Franks (p. 331). On the 
seventh day of the struggle the Cross triumphed over the 
Crescent, and Europe was saved. Charles, the leader of the 
Franks, received henceforth the name of Martel (the ham- 
mer) for the valor with which he pounded the Infidels on 
that memorable field. The Moslems never ventured north- 
ward again, and ultimately retired behind the barriers of the 

Extent of the Arab Dominion. — Exactly a century 
had now elapsed since the death of Mohammed, and the 
Saracen rule reached from the Indus to the Pyrenees. No 
empire of antiquity had such an extent. Only Greek fire on 
the East and German valor on the West had prevented the 
Moslem power from girdling the Mediterranean. 

Saracen Divisions. — For a time this vast empire held 

330 MEI)IiEVALl»KOPLES. / [800. 

together, and one caliph was obeyed alike in Spain and in 
Sinde. But disputes arose concerning the succession, and 
the empire was divided between the Ommiades — descendants 
of Omar — who reigned at Cordova, and the Ahbassides — 
descendants of the prophet's uncle — who located their capital 
at Bagdad. 

The year 800, when Charlemagne was crowned Emperor 
at Rome (p. 333), saw two rival emperors among the Chris- 
tians and two rival caliphs among the Mohammedans. As 
the Germans had before this pressed into the Roman Empire, 
so now the Turks invaded the Arab Empire. The caliph 
of Bagdad formed his body-guard of Turks^ — a policy that 
proved as fatal as enlisting the Goths into the legions of 
Rome, for the Turks eventually stripped the caliphs of 
their possessions in Asia and Africa. As the Teutons took 
the religion of the Romans, so also the Turks accepted the 
faith of the Arabs ; and as the Franks ultimately became 
the valiant supporters of Christianity, so the Turks became 
the ardent apostles of the Koran. 

Saracen Civilization. — The furious fanaticism of the Arabs 
early changed into a love for the arts of peace. Omar with his leathern 
bottle and bag of dates was followed by men who reigned in palaces 
decorated with arabesques and adorned with flower-gardens and foun- 
tains. The caliphs at Cordova and Bagdad became rivals in luxury 
and learning, as well as in politics and religion. Under the fostering 
care of Haroun al Raschid", the hero of the "Arabian Nights" and con- 
temporary of Charlemagne, Bagdad became the home of poets and 
scholars. The Moors in Spain erected structures whose magnificence 
and grandeur are yet attested by the ruins of the mosque of Cordova 
and the palace of the Alhambra. The streets of the cities were paved 
and lighted. The houses were frescoed and carpeted, warmed in 
winter by furnaces, and cooled in summer by perfumed air. 

Amid the ignorance which enveloped Europe during the Dark Ages, 
the Saracen Empire was dotted over with schools, to which students 
resorted from all parts of the world. There were colleges in Mongolia, 
Tartary, Persia, Mesopotamia, Syria, Morocco, Fez, and Spain. The 


vizier of a sultan consecrated 200,000 pieces of gold to found a college 
at Bagdad. A physician refused to go to Bokhara, at the invitation 
of the Sultan, on the plea that his private library would make four 
hundred camel-loads. Great public libraries were collected — one at 
Cairo being said to number 100,000 volumes, and the one of the Spanish 
caUphs, 600,000. 

*In science, the Arabs adopted the inductive method of Aristotle 
(see page 176), and pushed their experiments into almost every line 
of study. They originated chemistry, discovering alcohol and nitric 
and sulphuric acids. They understood the laws of falling bodies, of 
specific gravity, of the mechanical powers, and the general principles 
of light. They applied the pendulum to the reckoning of time ; ascer- 
tained the size of the earth by measuring a degree of latitude ; made 
catalogues of the stars ; introduced the game of chess ; employed in 
mathematics the Indian method of numeration ; gave to algebra and 
trigonometry their modern forms ; brought into Europe cotton manu- 
facture ; invented the printing of calico with wooden blocks ; and forged 
the Damascus and Toledo scimiters, whose temper is still the wonder 
of the world. 


The Franks, a German race, laid the foundation of France 
and Germany, and during nearly four centuries their history 
is that of both these countries. The conversion to Chris- 
tianity of their chieftain Clovis was the turning-point in 
their career. In the midst of a great battle, he invoked the 
God of Clotilda, his wife, and vowed, if victorious, to em- 
brace her faith. The tide of disaster turned, and the grate- 
ful king, with three thousand of his bravest warriors, was 
soon after baptized at Rheims (496). The whole power of 
the Church was now enlisted in his cause, and he rapidly 
pushed his triumphal arms to the Pyrenees. He fixed his 
capital at Paris and established the Merovingian, or first 
Prankish dynasty (Brief Hist. France, p. 13). 

The Descendants of Clovis were at first wicked, then 
weak, until finally all power fell into the hands of the prime 
minister, or Mayor of the Palace. We have already heard 


of one of these Mayors, Charles Martel, on the field of Tours. 
His son, the famous Pepin the Short, after his accession to 
office, wrote to the Pope, asking whether he who had the 
authority of king ought not to have the name. Receiving 
an affirmative reply, Pepin sent Childeric — the last of the 
"do-nothing" monarchs — shorn of his long, yellow, royal 
locks, into a monastery, and was himself lifted on a shield, 
and declared king. Thus the Carlovingian, or second 
Prankish dynasty, was estabhshed (752). At the request 
of the Pope, then hard pressed by the Lombards, Pepin 
crossed the Alps and conquered the province of Ravenna, 
which he gave to the Holy- See. This donation was the 
origin of the temporal power of the Pope. 

With Charlemagne (Charles the Great), Pepin's son, 
began a new era in the history of Europe. His plan was to 
unite the fragments of the old Roman Empire. To effect 
this, he used two powerful sentiments — patriotism and re- 
ligion. Thus, while he cherished the institutions which 
the Teutons loved, he protected the Church and carried 
the cross at the head of his army. He undertook fifty- 
three expeditions against twelve different nations. Gauls, 
Saxons, Danes, Saracens * — all felt the prowess of his arms. 
Entering Italy, he defeated the Lombards, and placed upon 
his own head their famous iron crown. After thirty-three 
years of bloody war, his sceptre was acknowledged from the 
German Ocean to the Adriatic, and from the Channel to the 
Lower Danube. His renown reached the far East, and 
Haroun al Raschid sought his friendship, sending him an 

* While Charlemagne's army, on its return from Spain, was passing through the 
narrow pass of Roncesvalles, the rear-guard was attacked by the Basques, The 
famous Paludin, Roland, long refused to blow his horn for aid, but with his dying 
breath he ^gnaled Charlemagne, who returned too late to save his gallant comrades. 
Centuries have passed since that fatal day, but " the Basque peasant still sings of 
Roland and Charlemagne, and still the traveler seems to see the long line of white 
turbans and swarthy faces winding slowly through the woods, and Arab epear-heads 
glittering in the sun." 




y of Umpire of Charlemagne 
Division of " < t 

Boundaries of the Seven Kingdomi ^ 


elephant (an animal never before seen by the Franks), and a 
clock which struck the hours. 

Charlemagne Crowned Emperor. — On Christmas day, 
800, as Charlemagne was bending in prayer before the high 
altar of St. Peter's at Rome, Pope Leo unexpectedly placed 
on his head the crown of the Caesars. The Western Empire 
was thus restored; the old empire was finally divided; there 
were two emperors — one at Rome, and one at Constantino- 
ple ; and from this time the Roman emperors were " Kings 
of the Franks." They lived very little at Rome, however, 

334 MEDIEVAL PEOPLES. [768-814. 

and spoke German, Latin being the language only of religion 
and government. 


Government. — Charlemagne sought to organize by law 
the various peoples he had conquered by the sword. His 
vast empire was divided into districts governed by counts. 
Eoyal delegates visited each district four times a year, to 
redress grievances and administer justice. Diets took the 
place of the old German armed assemblies. A series of 
capitularies was issued, containing the laws and tlie advice 
of the Emperor. But the work of Charlemagne's life per- 
ished with him. 

A Division of the Frankish Empire.— His feeble son 
Louis quickly dissipated this vast inheritance among his 
children. They quarreled over their respective shares, and, 
after Louis's death, fought out their dispute on the field of 
Fontenay. This dreadful " Battle of the Brothers " was fol- 




lowed by the Treaty of Verdun (843), which divided the 
empire among them. 

Beginnings of France and Germany.— Lothaire's 
kingdom was called after him Lotharingia, and a part of it 
is still known as Lorraine. Louis's kingdom was termed 
East Frankland, but the word Deutsch (German) soon 
came into use, and Germany in 1843 celebrated its 1000th 
anniversary, dating from the treaty of Verdun. Charles's 
kingdom was styled West Frankland (Lat. Francia, whence 
the word France) ; its monarch still clung to his Teutonic 
dress and manners, but the separation from Germany was 
fairly accomplished ; the two countries spoke different lan- 
guages, and Charles the Bald is ranked as the first king 
of France. 

Thus, during the 9th century, the map of Europe began 
to take on something of its present appearance, and, for the 
first time, we may venture to use the geographical divisions 
now familiar to us, though they were still far from having 
their present meaning. 

Charlemagne and 
his Court. — In person, 
dress, speech, and tone of 
mind, Charlemagne was a 
.true German. Large, erect, 
muscular, with a clear eye 
and dignified but gracious 
manner, his shrill voice and 
short neck were forgotten 
in the general grandeur of 
hi* presence. Keen to de- 
tect, apt to understand, pro- 
found to grasp, and quick 
to decide, he impressed all 
who knew him witli a sense 
of his power. Like his rude 
ancestors of centuries he- 
fore, he was hardy in his 



habits and unconcerned about his dress ; but, unlike them, he was strictly 
temperate in food and drink. Drunkenness he abhorred. In the 
industrial schools which he established, his own daughters were taught 
to work, and the garments he commonly wore were woven by their 
hands. He discouraged useless extravagance in his courtiers, and once 
when hunting — he in his simple Prankish dress and sheepskin cloak, 
they in silk and tinsel-embroidered robes — he led them through mire 
and brambles in the midst of a furious storm of wind and sleet, and 
afterward obliged them to dine in their torn and bedraggled fineries. 
Twice in his life he wore a foreign dress, and that was at Rome, where 
he assumed a robe of purple and gold, encircled his brow with jewels 
and decorated even his sandals with precious stones. His greatest 
pride was in his sword, Joyeuse, the handle of which bore his signet, 
and he was wont to say, " With my sword I maintain all to which I 
aflBx my seal." Generous to his friends, indulgent to his children, and 
usually placable to his enemies, his only acts of cruelty were perpe- 
trated on the Saxons, who, true to the Teutonic passion for independ- 
ence, for thirty-three years fought and struggled against him. Even 
when by his orders forty-five hundred were beheaded in one day, these 
doughty warriors continued to rebel till hopelessly subdued. 

The Imperial Palaces were magnificent, and the one at Aix-la- 
Chapelle was so luxurious that people called it "Little Rome." It 
contained extensive halls, galleries, and baths for swimming — an art 
in which Charlemagne excelled, mosaic pavements and porphyry 
pillars from Ravenna, and a college, library, and theatre. There were 
gold and silver tables, sculptured drinking-cups, and elaborately carved 
wainscoting, while the courtiers, dressed in gay and richly-wrought 
robes, added to the sumptuousness of the surroundings. This brilliant 
emperor gave personal attention to his diflferent estates ; he prescribed 
what trees and flowers should grow in his gardens, what meat . and 
vegetables should be kept in store, and ^ven how the stock and poultry 
should be fed and housed. 

The College at Aix-la-Chapelle was presided over by Alcuin, an 
Anglo-Saxon monk whom Charlemagne had invited to his court — for 
he surrounded himself with scholars rather than warriors. With his 
learned favorites and royal household the Great King devoted himself 
to science, belles-letters, music, and the languages, and became, next to 
Alcuin, the best-educated man of the age. It was an arousing "of 
literature from a sleep of centuries, and while Alcuin explained the 
theories of Pythagoras, Aristotle, and Plato, or quoted Homer, Virgil, 
and Pliny, the delighted listeners were fired with a passion for learning. 
In their enthusiasm they took the names of their classical favorites, 
and Homer, Pindar, Virgil, Horace, and Calliope, sat down together 
in the Frankish court, the king himself appearing as the royal 


Hebrew, David. Besides this court school, Charlemagne organized at 
Paris the first European university, established academies throughout 
the Empire, and required that every monastery which he founded or 
endowed should support a school. He encouraged the copying of 
ancient manuscripts and corrected the text of the Greek gospels. Like 
Pliny, he had books read to him at meals — St. Augustine being his 
favorite author — and, like Pisistratus, he collected the scattered frag- 
ments of the ancient national poetry. He even began a German gram- 
mar, an experiment which was not repeated for hundreds of years. 
Yet, though he mastered Latin, read Greek and some oriental lan- 
guages, delighted in astronomy, attempted poetry, and was learned in 
rhetoric and logic, this great king stumbled on the simple ai-t of writ- 
ing ; and though he kept his tablets under his pillow that he might 
press every waking moment into service, the hand that could so easily 
wield the ponderous iron lance was conquered by the pen. 

Wonderful indeed was the electricity of this powerful nature, the 
like of which had not been seen since the day of Julius Caesar and was 
not to reappear until the day of Charles V. But no one man can make 
a civilization. " In vain," says Duruy, "did Charlemagne kindle the 
flame ; it was only a passing torch in the midst of a profound night. 
In vain did he strive to create commerce and trace with his own hand 
the plan of a canal to connect the Danube and the Rhine ; the ages of 
commerce and industry were yet far distant. In vain did he unite 
Germany into one vast empire ; even while he lived he felt it breaking 
in his hands. And this vast and wise organism, this revived civiliza- 
tion, all disappeared with him who called it forth." 


We will next sketch the early political history of the prin- 
cipal European nations, and see how, amid the darkness of 
the Middle Ages, the foundations of the modern states were 
slowly laid. 


The Four Conquests of England.— (1.) Roman Con- 
quest. — About a century after Caesar's invasion, Agricola 
reduced Britain to a Roman province (see p. 249). Walls 
were built to keep back the Highland Celts; paved 
roads were constructed ; fortified towns sprang up in the 





track of the legions ; and the young natives learned to talk 
Latin, wear the toga,, and frequent the bath. 

(2.) Anglo-Saxon Conquest. — While Alaric was thunder- 
ing at the gates of Rome (p. 267), the veteran legions were 
recalled to Italy. The wild Celts of the north now swarmed 
over the deserted walls, and ravaged the country. The 
Britons, in their extremity, appealed to Horsa and Hen- 
gist, two German adventurers then cruising off their coast. 
These drove back the Celts, rewarding themselves by seizing 
the land they had delivered. Fresh bauds of Teutons — 
chiefly Angles (English) and Saxons — followed, driving the 
remaining Britons into "Wales. The petty pagan kingdoms 


wbich the Germans established (known as the Saxon Hep- 
tarchy) were continually at war, but Christianity was intro- 
duced by St. Augustine,* and they were finally united in 
one nation (827) by King Egbert, a contemporary and friend 
of Charlemagne. 

(3.) Danish Conquest. — During the 9th century, England, 
like France (p. 354) and Germany, was ravaged by hordes of 
northern pirates. In their light boats they ascended the 
rivei's and, landing, seized horses and scoured the country, to 
plunder and slay. Mercy seemed to them a crime, and they 
destroyed all they could not remove. The Danish invaders 
were finally beaten back by Egbert's grandson,! Alfred the 
Great (871-901), and order was restored so that, according 
to the old chroniclers, a bracelet of gold could be left hang- 
ing by the roadside without any one daring to touch it. 
A century later, the Northmen came in greater numbers, 
bent on conquering the country, and the Danish king 
Canute (Knut) J won the English crown (1017). 

(4.) Norman Conquest. — The English soon tired of the 
reckless rule of Canute's sons, and called to the throne 
Edward the Confessor (1042), who belonged to the old 

* Gregory, when a deacon, was once attracted by the beauty of some light-haired 
boys in the Roman slave-market. Being told that they were Angles, he replied, 
"Not Angles, but angels." When he became Pope, he remembered the fair cap- 
tives, and sent a band of monks under St. Augustine, as missionaries to England. 
They landed on the same spot where Hengist had nearly 150 years before. 

t The early chronicles abound in romantic stories of this "best of England's 
kings." While a fugitive from the Danes, he took refuge in the hut of a swineherd. 
One day the housewife had him turn some cakes that were baking upon the hearth. 
Absorbed in thought the young king forgot his task. When the good woman 
returned, finding the cakes l)umed, she roundly scolded him for his carelessness. 

X Many beautiful legends illustrate the character of this wonderful man. One 
day his courtiers told him that his power was so great that even the sea obeyed him. 
To rebuke this foolish flattery, the king seated himself by the shore, and ordered the 
waves to retire. But the tide rose higher and higher, until, finally, the surf dashed 
over his person. Turning to his flatterers, he said, " Ye see now how weak is the 
power of kings and of all men. Honor then God only and serve Him. for Him do all 
things obey." On going back to Wincliester, he hung his crown over the crucifix 
on the high altar, and never wore it again. 




Saxon line. On his death, Harold was chosen king. But 
William, duke of Normandy (p. 356), claimed that Edward 
had promised him the succession, and his cousin, Harold, 
had ratified the pledge. A powerful Norman army accord- 
ingly invaded England. Harold was slain in the battle of 
Hastings, and on Christmas day, 1066, William was crowned 
in Westminster Abbey as king of England. 

The following table contains the names of the English kings from 
the time of the conquest to the end of the Middle Ages. The limits of 
this history forbid a description of their separate reigns, and permit 
only a consideration of the events that, during this period of four cen- 
turies, were conspicuous in the "Making of England." 

i ■ 


William the Conqueror (1066-'87). 

WnjJAM Kupus (1087-1100). 

Henry Beauclerc. 
(1100 -'35). 

Adela, m. 

of Blois. 

Stephen (1135-'54). 

Matilda, m. Geoffrey 
Plantagenbt, of Anjou. 

Henry H. (1154-'89). 

Richard Cceitr de Lion (1189-'99). 

John (1199-1216). 
Henry III. (121fr-'72). 
Edward I. (1272-1307). 
Edward H. (1307-'27). 
Edward HI. (1327-'77). 

Lionel, Duke of Clarence. 
(Third son of Edward IH.). 

Henry IV. (1399-1413). 
Henry V. (1413-'22). 
Henry VL (1422-'61). 

Edward the Black Prince. 
Richard n. (1377-'90). 

Edward IV. (1461 
Edward V. 

Descendant of Lionel, third son of Edward III. 
With his brother Richard murdered in the Tower. 
Richard HI. (1483-'5). Youngest brother of Edward IV. Fell at Bosworth. 


Results of the Norman Conquest — William took ad- 
vantage of repeated revolts of the English to conquer the 
nation thoroughly, to establish the Feudal system* in Eng- 
land, and to confiscate most of the large domains and confer 

them upon his follow- 
ers. Soon every office 
in church and state 
was filled by the Nor- 
mans. Castles were 
erected, where the new 
nobles lived and lorded 
it over their poor Saxon 
dependants. Crowds 
of Norman workmen 
and traders flocked 
across the channel. 
Thus there were two 
peoples living in Eng- 
land, side by side. 
But the Normans were 
kinsfolk of the English, 
being Teutons with 
only a French veneer, 
and the work of union began speedily. Henry I., the 
Conqueror's son, married the niece of Edgar Atheling — 
the last of the Saxon princes ; while, from the reign of 
Henry H., ties of kindred and trade fast made Normans 
and Englishmen undistinguishable. Finally, in Edward I., 
England got a king who was English at heart. 

At first there were two languages spoken — the Norman 
being the fashionable tongue, and the Saxon the common 

* The pupil should here carefully read the sections on Feudalism, etc., p. 408, 
in order to understand the various feudal terms used in the text. 



speech ; but slowly, as the two peoples combined, the two 
languages coalesced. 

From time to time, many of the English took to the woods 
and lived as outlaws, like the famous Robin Hood in the 
days of Eichard I. But the sturdy Saxon independence and 
the Norman skill and learning gradually blended, giving to 
the English race new life and enterprise, a firmer government, 
more systematic laws, and more permanent institutions. 

The Saxon weapon was the battle-axe ; the Norman gen- 
tleman fought on horseback with the spear, and the footman 
with bow and arrow. Less than three centuries found the 
English yeoman on the field of Crecy(p. 361), under Edward 
III. and the Black Prince, overwhelming the French with 
shafts from their long-bows, and the English knight armed 
cap-a-pie, with helmet on head and lance in hand. 

William, though king of England, still held Normandy, 
and hence remained a vassal of the king of France. This 
complication of English and French interests became a 
fruitful source of strife. The successors of Hugh Capet 
(p. 356) were forced to fight a vassal more powerful than 
themselves, while the English sovereigns sought to dismember 
and finally to conquer France. Long and bloody wars were 
waged. Nearly five centuries elapsed before the English 
monarchs gave up their last stronghold in that country, and 
were content to be merely British kings. 

Growth of Constitutional Liberty.— 1. Runnymede and 
Magna Cliarta. — William the Conqueror easily curbed the 
powerful English vassals whom he created. But, during 
the disturbances of succeeding reigns, the barons acquired 
great power, and their castles becamo mere robbers' nests, 
whence they plundered the common people without mercy. 
The masses now sided with the crown for protection. 
Henry II. established order, reformed the law courts, organ- 

1315.] RISE OF MODERl^ KAtlONS — ENGLAKD. 343 

ized an army, destroyed many of the castles of the tyraDnical 
nobles, and created new barons, who, being English, were 
ready to make common cause with the nation. Unfortu- 
nately, Henry alienated the affections of his people by his 
long quarrel with Thomas a Becket, who, as a loyal English 
priest, stood up for the rightj of the church— tlirough the 
Middle Ages the refuge of the masses — and opposed to the 
death the increasing power of the Norman king. Henry's 
son, John, brought matters to a crisis, by his brutality and 
exactions. He imposed taxes at pleasure, wronged the poor, 
and plundered the rich.* At last, the patience of peasant 
and noble alike was exhausted, and the whole nation rose up 
in insurrection. The barons marched with their forces 
against the king, and at Runnymede (1215) compelled him 
to grant the famous Great Charter. 

Henceforth the king had no right to demand money when 
he pleased, nor to imprison and punish whom he pleased. 
He was to take money only when the barons granted the 
privilege for pubhc purposes, and no freeman was to be pun- 
ished except when his countrymen judged him guilty of 
crime. The courts were to be open to all, and Justice was 
not to be '' sold, refused or delayed. '' The serf, or villein, 
was to have his plougli free from seizure. The church was 
secured against the interference of the king. No class was 
neglected, but each obtained some cherished right. 

Magna Charta ever since has been the foundation of Eng- 
lish liberty, and, as the kings were always trying to break it, 
they have been compelled, during succeeding reigns, to con- 
firm its provisions thirty-six times. 

2. House of Commons. — Henry III., foolishly fond of for- 
eign favorites, yielded to their advice and lavished upon 

* At one time, it is said, he threw into prison a wealthy Jew, who refused to give 
him an enormous sum of money, and pulled out a tooth every day until he paid the 
required amount 


them large sums of money. Once more the barons rose in 
arms and, under the lead of Simon de Montfort, Earl of 
Leicester — a Frenchman by birth but an Englishman in 
feeling — defeated the king at Leiues. Earl Simon thereupon 
called together the Parliament, summoning, besides the 
barons, two knights from each county, and two citizens 
from each city or borough, to represent the freeholders 
(1265). Erom this beginning, the English Parliament soon 
took on the form it has since retained, of two assemblies— 
the House of Lords and the House of Commons. By de- 
grees it was established that the Commons should have the 
right of petition for redress of grievances, and sole power of 
voting taxes. 

The 13th century is thus memorable in English History for 
the granting of Magna Qharta and the forming of the 
House of Commons. 

Conquest of Ireland begun. — Henry IL, having ob- 
tained permission from the Pope to invade Ireland, author- 
ized an army of adventurers to overrun that island. In 
1171 he visited Ireland, and his sovereignty was generally 
acknowledged. Henceforth the country was under English 
rule, but it remained in disorder, the battle-ground of Irish 
chiefs, and Norman-descended lords who became as savage 
and lawless as those whom they had conquered. 

Conquest of Wales (1283). — The Celts had long pre- 
served their liberty among the mountains of Wales and 
Scotland. Edward I.'s ambition was to rule over the whole 
of the island. When Llewellyn, the Welsh chieftain, refused 
to yield him the usual homage, he invaded the country and 
annexed it to England. To propitiate the Welsh, he prom- 
ised them a native-born king who could not speak a word of 
English, and thereupon presented them his son, born a few 
days before in the Welsh castle of Caernarvon. The young 


Edward was afterward styled the Prince of Wales — a title 
since borne by the sovereign's oldest son. 

Conquest of Scotland. — Edward I., having been chQsen 
umpire between two claimants for the Scottish throne — 
Robert Bruce and John Baliol, decided in favor of the 
latter^ on condition of his doing homage to the English 
monarch as his feudal lord. The Scots, impatient of their 
vassalage, revolted, whereupon Edward took possession of 
the country as a forfeited lief (1296). Again the Scots rose 
under the patriot William Wallace, but he was defeated, 
taken to London and hanged. They next found a leader in 
Robert Bruce. Edward marched against him, but died in 
sight of Scotland. The English soldiers, however, harried 
the land, and drove Bruce from one hiding-place to another. 
Almost in despair, the patriot lay one day sleepless on his 
bed, where he watched a spider jumping to attach its thread 
to a wall. Six times it failed, but succeeded on the seventh. 
Bruce, encouraged by this simple incident, resolved to try 
again. Success came. Castle after castle fell into his hands, 
until only Stirling remained. Edward II., going to its 
relief, met Bruce at Bannockhurn (1314). The Scottish 
army was defended by pits, having sharp stakes at the bot- 
tom, and covered at the top with sticks and turf. The 
English knights, galloping to the attack, plunged into these 
hidden holes. In the midst of the confusion, a body of sut- 
lers appeared on a distant hill, and the dispirited English, 
mistaking them for a new army, fled in dismay. 

Scottish Independence was acknowledged (1328).* After 

* It is noticeable that there existed a constant alliance of Scotland and France. 
Whenever, during the 14th and 15th centuries, war broke out between France and 
England, the Scots made a diversion by attacking England, and their soldiers often 
took service in the French armies on the continent. So, if we learn that, at any 
time during this long period, France and England were fighting, it is pretty safe to 
conclude that, along the borders of England aud Scotland, there were plundering-raids 
and skirmishes. 


this, many wars arose between Scotland and England, but 
Scotland was never in danger of being conquered. 

TJie Hundred-Years War with France was the event 
of the 14th and the first half of the 15th century (p. 360). 

Wars of the Roses (1455-85).— About the middle of 
the 15th century a struggle concerning the succession to the 
English throne arose between the Houses of York and Lan- 
caster, the former being descended from the third, and the 
latter from the fourth son of Edward III. (p. 340). A Civil 
War ensued, known as the Wars of the Roses, since the 
adherents of the House of York wore, as a badge, a white 
rose, and those of Lancaster, a red one. The contest 
lasted thirty years and twelve pitched battles were fought. 
During this war the House of York seated three kings upon 
the throne. But the last of these, Richard III., a brutal 
tyrant whom prose and poetry* have combined to condemn," 
was slain on the field of Bosioorth, and the red rose placed 
the crown on the head of its representative, Henry VII. 
Thus ended the Plantagenet Line, which had ruled England 
for three centuries ; the new house was called the Tudor 
Line, from Henry's family name. 

The result of this Civil War was the triumph of the 
kingly power over that of the aristocracy. It was a war of 
the nobles and their military retainers. Except iu the 
immediate march of the armies, the masses pursued their 
industries as usual. Men plowed and sowed, bought and 
sold, as though it were a time of peace. Both sides pro- 
tected the neutral citizens, but were bent on exterminating 
each other. No quarter was asked or given, f During the 
war, eighty princes of the blood and two hundred nobles 

* Bead Shakspere's play, Richard III. 

t When Edward IV. galloped over the field of battle after a victory,- he would 
Bhout, " Spare the soldiers, but slay the gentlemen." 


fell by the sword, and half the families of distinction were 
destroyed. The method of holding land was changed, and, 
for the former relation of lord and vassal, was substituted 
that of landlord and tenant. The power of the great 
barons gone, the king had little check, and the succeeding 
monarchs ruled with an authority never before dreamed of 
in English history. Constitutional liberty, which had been 
steadily growing since the day of Eunnymede, now gave 
place to Tudor despotism. The field of Bosworth, moreover, 
marked the downfall of Feudalism ; with its disappearance 
the Middle Ages came to an end. 


The Anglo-Saxons, — The German invaders took with them to 
England their old-time traits and customs, in which traces of their 
former paganism lingered long after Christianity was formally adopted. 
Coming in separate bands, each fighting and conquering for itself, the 
most successful chieftains founded kingdoms. The royal power gradu- 
ally increased, though always subject to the decisions of the Witan, 
which was composed of the earls, the prelates, and the leading thanes 
and clergy. The Witenagemot (Assembly of Wise Men), a modifica- 
tion of the ancient German Assembly, was held at the great Christmas, 
Easter, and Whitsuntide festivals. This body not only elected but 
could depose the king, who was chosen from the royal family * 

The earls or dukes represented the old German nobility ; below them 
were the thanes or gentry, attached to the king and nobles ; and the 
ceorls or yeomen, freemen in name, but often semi-servile in obliga- 
tions. Lowest of all, and not even counted in the population, was a 
host of thralls, hapless slaves who lay at their master's mercy and were 
sold with the land and cattle— one slave equalling four oxen in value. 
A ceorl who had acquired " fully five hides f of land, church and kitchen, 
bell-house and burh-gate-seat, and special duty in the king's hall,'* or a 

* Every tribe had its royal family supposed to be descended from Woden. The 
house of Cerdic, the fouiider of the West-Saxon dynasty, survived the others, and to 
him is traced the pedigree of Queen Victoria. 

t The dimensions of a hide are not known. Some think it was aboat thirty acres. 
The burh was the home-yard and buildings, entered through a gate in the earth- wall 

348 m:^di^val peoples. 

merchant who had thrice crossed the seas on his own account, might 
become a thane ; and in certain cases a slave might earn his freedom. 

Shires, Hundreds, and Tithings.— Ten Anglo-Saxon families 
made a tithing, and by a system of mutual police or frank-pledge, each 
one became bail for the good conduct of the other nine. Ten tithings 
made a hundred, names which soon came to stand for the soil on which 
they lived. The land conferred in individual estates was called hoMand 
(book-land) ; that reserved for the public use waa folkland. 

The weregeld (life-money) and wihtgeld (crime-money) continued in 
force and covered nearly every possible crime, from the murder of a 
king to a bruise on a comrade's finger-nail. As part of the crime-money 
went to the crown, it was a goodly source of royal income. The amount 
due increased with the rank of the injured party ; thus, the weregeld 
of the West-Saxon king was six times that of the thane, and the thane's 
was four times that of the ceorl. The weregeld also settled the value 
of an oath in the law-courts : " A thane could outswear half-a-dozen 
ceorls ; an earl could outswear a whole township." The word of the 
king was ordered to be taken without an oath. Some crimes, such as 
premeditated murder or perjury after theft, were inexpiable. 

The Ordeals were used in cases of doubtful guilt. Sometimes 
a cauldron of boiling water or a red-hot iron wus brought before the 
court. The man of general good character was made to plunge his 
hand in the water or to carry the iron nine paces, but he of ill-repute 
immersed his arm to the elbow and was given an iron of treble weight. 
After three days he was declared guilty or innocent, according to the 
signs of perfect healing. Sometimes the accused was made to walk 
blindfolded and barefooted over red-hot ploughshares ; and sometimes he 
was bound hand and foot and thrown into a pond, to establish his inno- 
cence or guilt according as he sank or floated. Ordeals were formally 
abolished by the Church in the 13th century. 

The Duel, in which the disputants or their champions fought, 
was transplanted from Normandy about the time of the Conquest ; and 
the Grand Assize, the first establishment in regular legal form of trial 
by jury, was introduced by Henry II. 

Commerce was governed by strict protective laws, and every pur- 
chase, even of food, had to be made before witnesses. If a man went 
to a distance to buy any article, he must first declare his intention to 
his neighbors ; if he chanced to buy while absent, he must publish the 
fact on his return. Nothing could be legally bought or sold for three 
miles outside a city's walls, and the holder of wares whose purchase in 
open market could not be proved, not only forfeited the goods, but was 
obliged to establish his character for honesty before the legal inspector 
of sales. Judging from the laws, theft and smuggling, though punished 
with great severity, were prevalent crimes. 


Solitary travelers were regarded with suspicion, and an early law 
declared that "if a man come from afar or a stranger go out of the 
highway, and he then neither shout nor blow a horn, he is to be ac- 
counted a thief, either to be slain or to be redeemed." 


Literature and the Arts flourished only in convents, where 
the patient monks wrought in gold, silver and jewels, and produced 
exquisitely illuminated manuscripts. The name of ' ' The Venerable 
Becle" (673-735), the most distinguished of Anglo-Saxon writers, is 
familiar to all readers of English history, and we recognize Alcuin 
(735-804) as the preceptor of Charlemagne. Alfred the Great, whom 
popular tradition invested with nearly every virtue, was a tireless 
student and writer. 

Truthfulness, Respect for Woman, and Hospitality- 
were the old wholesome German traits. The doors of the Anglo-Saxon 
hall were closed to none — known or unknown — who appeared worthy 
of entrance. The stranger was welcomed with the customary offer of 
water to wash his hands and feet, after which he gave up his arms and 
took his place at the family board. For two nights no questions were 
asked ; after that his host was responsible for his character. In later 
times, a strange-comer who was neither armed nor rich nor a clerk was 
obliged to enter and leave his host's house by daylight, nor was he 
allowed to remain out of his own tithing more than one night at a time. 




The Home of a prosperous 

Anglo-Saxon consisted generally 
of a large wooden building — the 
hall — surrounded by several de- 
tached cabins, the homers, situ- 
ated in a large yard enclosed by 
an earthwork and a ditch, with a 
strong gate (the hurh-gate) fof 
entrance. The hall was the 
general resort of the numerous 
household. It was hung with 
cloth or embroidered tapestries, 
and had hooks for arms, armor, 
musical instruments, etc. The 
floor was of clay or, in palaces, 
of tile mosaic. Its chief furniture was benches, which served as seats 
by day and for beds at night. A sack of straw and a straw pillow, with 
sheet, coverlet, and goatskin, laid on a bench or on the floor, furnished a 
sufiicient couch for even a royal Saxon. A stool or chair covered with a 
rug or cushion marked 
the master's place. The 
table was a long board 
placed upon tressels 
and laid aside when 
not in use. A hole in 
the roof gave outlet to 
the clouds of smoke 
from the open fire on 
the floor. The bowers 
furnished private sit- 
ting and bed rooms for 
the ladies of the house, 
the master, and distin- 
guished guests. Here the Anglo-Saxon dames carded, spun, and wove, 
and wrought the gold embroideries that made their needlework famous 
throughout Europe. The straw bed lay on a bench in a curtained recess, 
and the furniture was scanty, for in those times nothing which could 
not be easily hidden was safe from plunderers. The little windows 
(called eye-holes) were closed by a wooden lattice, thin horn, or linen, 
for glass windows were as yet scarcely known. A rude candle stuck 
upon a spike was used at night. — The women were fond of flowers and 
gardens. At the great feasts they passed the ale and mead, and dis- 
tributed gifts — the spoils of victory — to the warrior-guests.- They 
♦ The master was called the hlqf-ord (loaf owner), and the mistress hlaf-dig (loaf 




were as hard mistresses as the old Roman matrons, and their slaves 
were sometimes scourged to death by their orders. 

Dress.— The men usually went bareheaded, with flowing beard, and 
long hair parted in the middle, A girdled tunic, loose short trousers, 
and wooden or leather shoes completed the costume. The rich wore 
ornamented silk cloaks. A girl's hair hung flowing or .braided; after 
marriage it was cut short or bound around the head, as a mark of sub- 
jection. It was a fashion to dye the hair blue, but a lady's head-dress 
left only her face exposed ; her brilliantly-dyed robes and palla were, 
in form, not unlike those of Roman times. 

Hunting and Hawking were the favorite outdoor sports ; the 
in-door were singing — for even a laboring man was disgraced if he could 
not sing to his own accompaniment — harp-playing, story-telling, and, 
above all, the old German habits, feasting and drinking. 


Scene in Anglo-Saxon JAfQ,—The Noon- Meat. —Kbowi three 
o'clock the chief, his guests, and all his household meet in the hall. 
While the hungry crowd, fresh from woodland and furrow, lounge 
near the fire or hang up their weapons, the slaves drag in the heavy 
board, spreading on its upper half a handsome cloth. The tableware 
consists of wooden platters and bread-baskets, bowls for the universal 
broth, drinking-horns and cups, a few steel knives shaped like our 
modern razors, and some spoons, but no forks. As soon as the board is 
laid, the benches are drawn up, and the work of demolition begins. 
Great round cakes of bread, huge junks of boiled bacon, vast rolls of 
broiled eel, cups of milk, horns of ale, wedges of cheese, lumps of salt 
butter, and smoking piles of cabbage and beans all disappear like 
magic. Kneeling slaves ofier to the lord and his honored guests long 
skewers or spits on which steaks of beef or venison smoke and sputter. 

distrftuter) ; hence the modern words lord and lady. 
were called loc^-ecUers. 

The domestics and retainers 



ready for tlie hacking blade. Poultry, game, and geese are on the 
upper board ; but, except the bare bones, the crowd of loaf-eaters see 
little of these dainties. Fragments and bones strew the floor, where 
they are eagerly snapped up by hungry hounds, or lie till the close of 
the meal. Meantime, a clamorous mob of beggars and cripples hang 
round the door, squabbling over the broken meat and mingling their 
unceasing whine with the many noises of the feast.* 


After the banquet comes the revel. The drinking-glasses— with 
rounded bottoms, so that they cannot stand on the table,! but must be 
emptied at a draught— are now laid aside for gold and silver goblets, 
which are constantly filled and refilled with mead and — in grand houses 
— with wine. Gleemen sing, and twang the violin or harp (called glee- 
wood), or blow great blasts from trumpets, horns, and pipes, or act the 
buffoon with dance and jugglery. Amid it all rises the gradually increas- 
ing clamor of the guests, who, fired by incessant drinking, change their 
shouted riddles into braggart boasts, then into taunts and threats, and 
often end the night with bloodshed. (Condensed from Collier.) 

The Worm an introduced new modes of thought and of life. 
More cleanly and delicate in personal habits, more elaborate in tastes, 
more courtly and ceremonious in manner, fresh from a province where 
learning had just revived and which was noted for its artistic architec- 
ture, and coming to a land that for a century had been nearly barren 
of literature and whose buildings had little grace or beauty, the Nor- 
man added culture and refinement to the Anglo Saxon strength and 
Bturdiness. Daring and resolute in attack, steady in discipline, skilful 

* In Norman times the beggars grew so insolent that ushers armed with rods were 
posted outside the hall door to keep them from snatching the food from the dishes 
as the cooks carried it to the table. 

t This characteristic of the old drinking-cups is said to have given rise to the 
modem name of lumbkr. 

RISE 0:B modern N^ATlONS — ENGLAND. ^53 

in exacting submission, fond of outside splendor, proud of military- 
power, and appreciative of thought and learning, it was to him, says 
Pearson, that " England owes the builder, the knight, the schoolman, 
the statesman." But it was still only the refinement of a brutal age. 
The Norman soon drifted into the gluttonous habits he had at first 
ridiculed, and the conquest was enforced so pitilessly that "it was 
impossible to walk the streets of any great city without meeting men 
whose eyes had been torn out and whose feet or hands, or both, had 
been lopped off. " 

(From a Manuscript, Twelfth Century.) 





The Norsemen — Scandinavians., like the Danish invad- 
ers of England — began to ravage the coast of France during 
the days of Charlemagne. Under his weak successors, they 
came thick and fast, ascending the rivers in their boats, and 
burning and plundering far and near. At last, in sheer 
desperation, Charles the Simple gave Rollo — the boldest of 
the vikings — a province since known as Normandy. Eollo 
took the required oath of feudal service, but delegated the 
ceremony of doing homage to one of his followers, who 
lifted the monarch's foot to his mouth so suddenly as to 
upset king and throne. 

Soon, a wonderful change occurred. The Normans, as 
they were henceforth called, showed as much vigor in culti- 
vating their new estates as they had formerly in devastating 



them. They adopted the language, religion, and customs of 
the French, and, though they invented nothing, they devel- 
oped and gave new life to all they touched. Ere long 
Normandy became the fairest province, and these wild 
Norsemen, the bravest knights, the most astute statesmen, 
and the grandest builders of France. 


Hugh Capet 


Henry T. 

Philip I. 







Louis VI., the Fat 

Louis VH., the Young (1137-'80). 

Philip II., Augustus (1180-1283). 

Louis VIII. (1223-'26). 


Louis IX., Saint (1226-'70). 

Charles, Count of Anjou and Provence, 
founder of House of Naple!^. 

Philip IH., the Hardy (1270-'85). 

EoBErT, Count of Clermont, founder of 
House of Bourbon. 

Philip IV., the Fair (1285-1314). 

Charles, Count of Valoie, founder of 
House of Valois (p. 360). 

Louis X. (1314). Philip V. (1316). Charles 

Charles, Count of Valois, son of Philip III. 
Philip VI. (1328-'50). 
John, the Good (1350-'64). 
Charles V., the Wise (1364-'80). 



Isabella, m. 
Edward II. of 


Edward III. 
(p. 360). 

Charles VI., the Well-beloved (1380-1422). 
Charles VIL, the Victorious (1422-'61). 
Louis XI. (1461-'83). 
I Charles VIII. (1483-'98). 

Louis, Duke of Orleans, 

founder of House of 


356 MEDIEVAL PEOPLES. [848-981 

The Later Carlovingian Kings * proved as power- 
less to defend and govern, as they had to preserve, the 
inheritance of their great ancestors. During the terror of 
the Norseman invasion, the people naturally turned for pro- 
tection to the neighboring lords, whose castles were their 
only refuge. Feudalism, consequently, grew apace. In the 
10th century France existed only in name. Normandy, 
Burgundy, Aquitaine, Champagne, Toulouse, were the true 
states, each with its independent government, and its own 
life and history. 

The Capetian Kings.— As Charles Martel, Mayor of 
the Palace, gained power during the last days of the do- 
nothing, Merovingian kings, and his son established a new 
dynasty, so, in the decadence of the Carlovingians, Hugh 
the Great, Count of Paris, gained control, and his son, 
Hugh Capet, was crowned at Rheims (987). Thus was 
founded the third, or Capetian Line. France had now a 
native French king, and its capital was Paris. 

Weakness of the Monarchy. — The Royal Domain 
(see map), however, was only a small territory along the 
Seine and Loire. Even there the king scarcely ruled his 
nobles, while the great vassals of the crown paid him scant 
respect. The early Capets made little progress toward 
strengthening their authority. When William, duke of 
Normandy, won the English crown, there began a long 
rivalry that retarded the growth of France for centuries ; 
and when Eleanor, the divorced wife of Louis VII., was 
married to Henry Plantagenet, Count of Anjou — so carry- 
ing her magnificent inheritance of Poitou and Aquitaine to 

* It is a significant fact that they have come down to us with the nicknames of 
the Good-natured, the Bald, the Stammerer, the Fat, the Simple, and the Idle (Brief 
Hist, of France, App., p. 25). 


at the time of the accession of 



Fitk & So. N. Y 

him who soon after became Henry 11. of England, — the 
French crown was completely overshadowed. 

G-rowth of the Monarchy. — The history of France 
during the 13th, 14th, and loth centuries shows how, in 
spite of foreign foes, she absorbed the great fiefs, one by one ; 
how royalty triumphed over feudalism, and finally all became 
consolidated into one great monarchy. 

Philip Augustus (1180-1223) was the ablest monarch 
France had seen since Charlemagne. When a mere boy he 



[13th cent. 


gained the counties of 
Vermandois, Amiens, 
and Valois ; while by 
his marriage he se- 
cured L'Artois. 

King John of Eng- 
land being accused of 
having murdered his 
nephew Arthur — the 
heir of Brittan}* — Phil- 
ip summoned him, as 
his vassal, to answer 
for the crime before 
the peers of France. 
On his non-appearance, 
John was adjudged to have forfeited his fiefs. AVar ensued, 
during whicli Philip captured not only Normandy, which 
gave him control of the mouth of the Seine, but also Anjou, 
Maine, and Touraine, upon the Loire. 

Certain cities were granted royal charters conferring spe- 
cial privileges ; under these, the citizens formed associations 
(commimes) for mutual defence, elected magistrates, and 
organized militia. When Phihp invaded Flanders, the 
troops from sixteen of the communes fought at his side and 
helped him win the battle of Bouvines (1214) over the Flem- 
ings, Germans, and English. It was the first great French 
victory, and gave to the crown authoiity, and to the people 
a thirst for military glory. 

The AlMgenses — so called from the city of Albi — professed 
doctrines at variance with the Church of Eome. Pope In- 
nocent III. accordingly preached a crusade against them and 
their chief defender. Count Eaymond of Toulouse. It was 
led by Simon de Montfort, father of the earl famous in 



English history. Ruthless adventurers flocked to his stand- 
ard from all sides, and for years this beautiful land was 
ravaged with fire and sword. Helpless Toulouse at last 
lapsed to the crown, and so France acquired the Mediterra- 
nean coast. Instead of being shut up to the lands about 
Pai'is, the kingdom now touched three seas. 

Louis IX. (1226-70) is best known by his title of Saint, 
and history loves to describe him as sitting beneath the 
spreading oak at Vincennes, and dispensing justice among 
his people. By his integrity, goodness, and strength of 
mind he made all classes respect his rule. He firmly re- 
pressed the warring barons, and established the Parliament 
of Paris — a court of justice to enforce equal laws through- 
out the realm. During this beneficent reign, royalty and 
the country made such progress that France assumed the 
first rank among the European na- 

PhUip IV. (1285-1314) was 
called the Fair — a title which ap- 
plied to his complexion rather than 
his character, for he was crafty and 
cruel. In order to repress the 
nobles, he encouraged the com- 
munes and elevated the bourgeoisie, 
or middle classes. His reign is 
memorable for the long and bitter 
contest which he carried on with 
the Pope, Boniface VIII. To 
strengthen himself, the king sum- 
moned for the first time in French 
history (1302) the States- General, 
or deputies of the Three Estates of 
the Realm — the nobles, the clergy, a soldier (fourteenth century). 



[14th -cent. 

and the commons {tiers Stat). The people thus obtained 
representation. The papal court was finally removed to 
Avignon, and the new Pope, Clement V., became in effect a 

vassal of France. 

The order of Templars (p. 399), 
by its wealth and pride, excited 
Philip's greed and jealousy. He 
accordingly seized the knights, 
and confiscated their treasures. 
The members were accused of 
frightful crimes, which they con- 
fessed under torture, and many 
were burned at the stake. 

House of Valois. — Philip's 
three sons came to the throne 
in succession, but died leaving 
no male heir. The question then 
arose whether the crown could 
It was decided that, according to the 
old Salic law of the Franks, the kingdom could not '^fall to 
the distaff." During the short reign of Philip's sons, their 
uncle Charles, Count of Valois, secured almost royal power, 
and — the third instance of the kind in French history — his 
son obtained the crown, which thus went to the Valois 
branch of the Capet family. This succession was disputed 
by Edward III. of England, as son of the daughter of 
Philip IV. So began the contest called 

The Hundred-Years War (1328-1453).— Like the 
Peloponnesian War of ancient Greece, this long struggle was 
not one of continuous fighting, but was broken by occasional 
truces, or breathing-spells, caused by the sheer exhaustion of 
the contestants. Throughout the progress of this contest 
the fortunes of France and England were so linked that the 


descend to a female. 


same events often form the principal features in the history 
of both, while there were many striking coincidences and 
contrasts in the condition of the two countries. 


Philip of Valois (1328-'50) came to 
the throne at nearly the same time as his 
English rival, though France had three 
kings (Philip, John, and Charles) during 
Edward ///.'s reign of fifty years. The 
storm of war was long gathering. Philip, 
coveting Aqultaine, excited hostilities 
upon its borders ; gathered a fleet, and 
destroyed Southampton and Plymouth ; 
interrupted the English trade with the 
great manufacturing cities of Ghent and 
Bruges; and aided the revolt of Robert 
Bruce in Scotland. A war of succession 
having arisen in Brittany, and the rival 
kings supporting opposite factions, 
Phihp, during a truce, invited a party of 
Breton noblemen to a tournament, and 
beheaded them without trial. 


Edward III.'s (1327-'77) reign wit- 
nessed England's most brilliant achieve- 
ments in war. At first Edward did hom- 
age for his lands in France; but after- 
ward, exasperated by Philip's hostility, 
he asserted his claim to the French 
throne ; made allies of Flanders and 
Germany ; quartered the lilies of France 
with the lions of England ; assembled a 
fleet, and defeated the French oflF Sluys 
(1340), thus winning the first great Eng- 
lish naval victory; and finally, upon 
Philip's perfidy in slaying the Breton 
knights, invaded Normandy, and ravaged 
the country to the very walls of Paris. 
On his retreat, he was overtaken by an 
overwhelming French army near Crecy. 

Battle of Crecy (1346).— The English yeomanry had 
learnt the use of the long bow, and now formed Edward's 
main reliance. 

The French army was a motley feudal array, the knights 
despising all who fought on foot. The advance was led by a 
body of Genoese cross-bow men, who recoiled before the piti- 
less storm of English arrows. The French knights, instantly 
charging forward, trampled the helpless Italians under foot. 
In the midst of the confusion, the English poured down on 
their struggling ranks. Philip himself barely escaped, and 
reached Amiens with only five attendants. 

The result of this victory was the capture of Calais. Ed- 
ward, driving out the inhabitants, made it an English settle- 
ment. Henceforth, for two hundred years, this city afforded 
the English an open door into the heart of France. Crecy 
was a triumph of the churl over the knight, and it inspired 
England with a love of conquest. 



[14Tn CENT. 

The Black Death (1347-50), a terrible plague from 
the East, now swept over Europe. Half the population of 
England perished. Travelers in Germany found cities and 
villages without a living inhabitant. At sea, ships were dis- 
covered adrift, their crews having all died of the pestilence. 
The mad passions of men were stayed in the presence of this 
fearful scourge. Just as it abated, Philip died, leaving the 
crown to his son. 


John the Good (1350-'64) was brave i 
EBd chivalrous, but his rashness and [ 
gayety were in marked contrast with Ed- 
ward's stem common sense. His char- 
acter was written all over with Crecys. j 
Charles the Bad, the turbulent king of | 
Navarre, was constantly rousing opposi- ' 
tion : John seized him at a supper given | 
by the Dauphin (the eldest son of the 
French king), and threw him into prison. 
Charles's friends appealed to Edward, 
and did homage to him for their domains. | 

While Edward was absent, the Scots, 
as usual in alliance with France (p. 345), 
invaded England ; but, in the same year 
with Crecy, Edward's queen, Philippa, 
defeated them at NeviWs Cross. The 
French war smoldered on, with fitful 
truce and plundering raid, until Edward 
espoused Charles's cause, when the con- 
test broke out anew. The Prince of 
Wales— called the Black Prince, from the 
color of his armor— carried fire and sword 
to the heart of Prance. 

Battle of Poitiers (1356).— John having assembled sixty 


thousand men, the flower of French chivalry, intercepted the 
prince returning with his booty. It was ten years since 
Or^cy, and the king hoped to retrieve its disgrace, but he 
only doubled it. The Prince's little army of eight thousand 
was posted on a hill, the sole approach being by a lane bor- 



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dered with hedges, behind which the English archers were 
concealed. The French knights, galloping up this road, 
were smitten by the shafts of the bowmen. Thrown into 
disorder, they fell back on the main body below, when the 
Black Prince in turn charged down the hill. John sprang 
from his horse, and fought till he and his young son, Philip, 
were left almost alone. This brave boy stood at his father's 




side, crying out, " Guard the left ! Guard the right ! " until, 
pressed on every hand, the king was forced to surrender. 

The Black Prince treated his prisoner with the courtesy 
befitting a gallant knight. He stood behind his chair at 
dinner, and, according to the fashion of the age, waited upon 
him like a servant. When they entered London, the captive 
king was mounted on a splendidly-caparisoned white charger, 
while the conqueror rode at his side on a black pony. John 
was afterward set free by the Treaty of Bretigny, agreeing 
to give up Aquitaine and pay three million crowns. One of 
his sons, however, who had been left at Calais as a hostage, 
escaped. Thereupon John, feeling bound in honor, went 
back to his splendid captivity. 

The Condition of France was now 
pitiable indeed. The French army, dis-* 
solved into companies called Free Lances, 
roamed the country, plundering friend 
and foe. Even the Pope at Avignon had 
to redeem himself with forty thousand 
crowns. The land in the track of the 
English armies lay waste ; the plough 
rusted in the furrow, and the houses were 
blackened ruins. The ransoms of the re- 
leased nobles were squeezed from Jacques 
Bonhomme— as the lords nicknamed the 
peasant. Beaten and tortured to reveal 
their little hoards, the serfs fled to the 
woods, or dug pits in which to hide from 
their tormentors. Brutalized by centu- 
ries of tyranny, they at last rose as by a 
common impulse of despair and hate. 
Snatching any weapon at hand, they 
rushed to the nearest chateau, and piti- 
lessly burned and massacred. The Eng- 
lish joined with the French gentry in 
crushing this rebellion ("The Jacque- 
rie"). Meanwhile the bourgeoisie in 
Paris, sympathizing with the peasants, 
rose to check the license of the nobles 
and the tyranny of the crovra. The 
states-General made a stand for liberty, 
refusing the Dauphin money and men for 
the war, except with guarantees. But 
the Dauphin marched on Paris ; Marcel, 
the liberal leader, was slain, and this at- 

The Black Prince was entrusted with 
the government of Aquitaine. Here he 
took the part of Don Pedro the Cruel— a 
dethroned king of Castile— and won him 
back his kingdom. But the thankless 
Pedro refused to pay the cost, and the 
Black Prince returned, ill, cross, and 
penniless. The haughty English were 
little liked in Aquitaine, and, when the 
Prince levied a house-tax to replenish his 
treasury, they turned to the Dauphin— 
now Charles V. — who summoned the 
Prince to answer for his exactions. ■ On 
his refusal, Charles declared the English 
possessions in France forfeited. The 
Prince rallied his ebbing strength, and, 
borne in a litter, took the field. He cap- 
tured Limoges, but sullied his fair fame 
by a massacre of the inhabitants, and was 
carried to England to die. He was buried 
in Canterbury Cathedral, where his hel- 
met, shield, gauntlets, and surcoat— em- 
broidered with the arms of Prance and 
England— still hang above his tomb. 

Defeat of the Unglish.—Eng\mA had 
lost the warriors who won Crecy and 
Poitiers ; moreover, Du Guesclin fought 
no pitched battles, but waged a far more 
dangerous guerilla warfare. "Never," 
said Edward, " was there a French king 
who wore so little armor, yet never was 
there one who gave me so much to do." 



tempt of the people to win their rights 
was stamped out in blood. 

Charles V. (1364-'80), the Wise, 
merited the epithet. Calling to his side 
a brave Breton knight, Dn Gues^clin, he 
relieved France, by sending the Free 
Lances to fight against Don Pedro. 
When the Aquitainans asked for help, 
Charles saw his opportunity. For the 
dreaded Black Prince was sick, and Ed- 
ward was growing old. So he renewed 
the contest. He did not, like his father, 
rush headlong into battle, but committed 
his army to Dn Guesclin— now Constable 
of France— with orders to let famine, 
rather than fighting, do the work. One 
by one he got back the lost provinces, 
and the people gladly returned to their 
natural ruler. 

The Constable died while besieging a 
castle in Auvergne, and the governor, 
who had agreed to surrender on a certain 
day, laid the keys of the stronghold upon 
the hero's cofiin. Charles survived his 
great general only a few months, but he 
had regained nearly all his father and 
grandfather had lost. 

Charles VI. (1380-1422), a beautiful 
boy of twelve years, became king. He 
apcended the throne three years after 
Richard, and his reign coincided with 
those of three English kings (Richard IT., 

And now Edward closed his long 
reign. Scarcely was the great warrior 
laid in his grave, ere the English coast 
was ravaged by the French fleet. This, 
too, only twenty years from Poitiers. 
Domestic aflfairs were not more pros- 
perous. True, foreign war had served to 
diminish race hatred. Norman knight, 
Saxon bowman, and Welsh lancer had 
shared a common danger and a common 
glory at Crecy and Poitiers. But the old 
enmity now took the form of a struggle 
between the rich and the poor. The 
yoke of villeinage, which obliged the 
bondsmen to till their lord's land, harvest 
his crops, etc., bore heavily. During the 
Black Death, many laborers died, and 
consequently wages rose. The landlords 
refused to pay the increase, and Parlia- 
ment passed a law punishing any one 
asking a higher price for his work. This 
enraged the peasants. One John Ball 
went about denouncing all landlords, and 
often quoting the lines, 

" When Adam delved and Eve span 
Who was then the gentleman? " 

Richard II. (1377-'99), a beautiful 
boy of eleven years, became king. Heavy 
taxation having still further Incensed 4,he 
disaffected peasants, thousands rose in 
arms, and marched upon London (1381). 



[14th cent. 

Henry IV., and V.)— the reverse of the 
reign of Edward III. Both countries 
were now governed by minors, who were 
under the influence of ambitious uncles, 
anxious for their own personal power. 

Charles's guardians assembled a great 
fleet at Sluys, and for a time frightened 
England by the fear of invasion. Next, 
they led an army into Flanders, and at 
liosehecque (1382) the French knights, 
with their mailed horses and long lances, 
trampled down the Flemings by thou- 
sands. This was a triumph of feudalism 
and the aristocracy over popular liberty ; 
and the French cities which had revolted 
against the tyranny of the court were 
punished with terrible severity. Charles 
dismissed his guardians a year earlier 
than Kichard, and, more fortunate than 
he, called to the head of.affairs Du Clis- 
Bon, friend and successor of Du Guesclin. 
Tlie King's lasanity.—Kw attempt be- 
ing made to assassinate the Constable, 
Charles pursued the criminals into Brit- 
tany. One sultry day, as he was going 
through a forest, a crazy man darted be- 
fore him and shouted, "Thou art be- 
trayed ! " The king, weak from illness 
and the heat, was startled into madness. 
The Dukes of Burgundy and Orleans 
now governed, while, for thirty years, a 
maniac sat upon the throne. The death of 
Burgundy only doubled the horrors of the 
times, for his son, John the fearless, was 
yet more unprincipled and cruel. Final- 
ly, John became reconciled to his cousin, 
Louis, Duke of Orleans, and, in token 
thereof, they partook of the sacrament 
together. Three days afterward, Orleans 
was murdered by Burgundy's servants. 
The crazy king pardoned the murderer 
of his brother. The new Duke of Orleans 
being young, his father-in-law, the Count 
of Armagnac, became the head of the 
party which took his name. The Burgun- 
dians espoused the popular cause, and 
were friendly to England ; the Orlean- 
ists, the aristocratic side, and opposed 
England. The queen joined the Burgun- 
dians ; the Dauphin, the Armagnacs. 
Paris ran with blood. 

The boy-king met them on Smithfield 
common. Their leader, Wat Tyler, ut- 
tering a threat, was slain by the mayor. 
A cry of vengeance rising from the mul- 
titude, Richard boldly rode forward, ex- 
claiming, "I am your king. I wiil be 
yourleader," The peasants accepted his 
written guarantee of their freedom, and 
went home quietly. Bnt Parliament re- 
fused to ratify the king's pledges, and 
this insurrection was trodden out by the 
nobles, as the Jacquerie had been twenty- 
three years before, in blood. 

Eichard's character, besides this one 
act of courage, showed few kingly traits. 
His reign was a constant struggle with 
his uncles. When he threw off their 
yoke, he ruled well for a time, but soon 
began to act the despot, and by his reck- 
lessness alienated all classes. With his 
kingdom in this unsettled state, he sought 
peace by marrying a child-wife only eight 
years old, Isabella, daughter of Charles 
VI. of France. This marriage was un- 
popular; the people were restless, the 
nobles unruly, and, finally, Richard's 
cousin, Henry of Lancaster, seized the 
crown. Richard was deposed, and soon 
after, as is thought, was murdered in 
prison, like his great-'^randfather, Ed- 
ward II. 

Henry IV. (1399-1413), who now 
founded the House of Lancaster, was 
authorized by Parliament to rule, though 
the Earl of March, a descendaut of 
Lionel (p. 340), was nearer the throne. 
As Henry owed his place to Parlia- 
ment, he had to act pretty much as 
that body pleased. The great nobles 
were none too willing to obey. The reign 
was, therefore, a troubled one. England 
could take no advantage of the distracted 
state of affairs in France. 

Henry V. (1413-1422), to strengthen 
his weak title to the throne by victory, 
and to give the discontented nobles war 
abroad instead of leaving them to plot 
treason at home, invaded France. While 
marching from Harfleur to Calais, he met 
a vastly superior French force upon the 
plain of Azincourt. 

Battle of Azincourt (1415). — The French army was 
the flower of chivalry. The knights, resplendent in theix 


armor, charged upon the Enghsh line. But their horses 
floundered in the muddy ploughed fields, while a storm of 
arrows beat down horse and rider. In the confusion the 
English advanced, driving all before them. It was Crecy 
and Poitiers over again. Ten thousand Frenchmen fell, 
four-fifths of whom were of gentle blood. 

Treaty of Troyes (1420). Henry again crossed the 
channel, captured Eouen, and threatened Paris. In the 
face of this peril, the Dauphin and the Duke of Burgundy 
met for conference. It ended in the assassination of Bur- 
gundy. His son, Philip the Good, at once went over to the 
English camp, taking with him the queen and the helpless 
king. He there concluded a treaty, which declared Henry 
regent and heir of the kingdom, and gave him the hand of 
Charles's daughter, Catharine. Paris and northern France 
submitted ; but the Armagnacs, with the Dauphin, held the 
southern part. The conqueror did not live to wear the 
crown he had won. The hero of Azincourt and his father- 
in-law, Charles VI., the crazy king, died within two months 
of each other. 

[The next three reigns of the French and the English kings corre- 
spond to a year. France now loses a mad monarch and gets a frivolous 
king, who finally matures into a strong "ruler ; England loses a great 
warrior, and gets an infant who, when he matures into manhood, shows 
no strength, and inherits from his mother the tendency of the French 
royal family to insanity.] 

Charles "VTI. (1422-'61), called the 
" King of Bourges"— from the city where 
he was crowned— was bo poor that the 
chroniclers of the time tell of the straits 

Henry "VI. (1422-'61), though an in- 
fant, was proclaimed at Paris king of 
England and France, the Duke of Bed- 
ford acting as regent. In England there 

to which he was reduced for a pair of j was no question as to the succession, and 
hoots. Gay and pleasure-loving, he was i the daims of the Earl of March were not 
indifferent to the agony of his native | thought of a moment. All eyes were 
land. Not so with Jeanne Daic, a maiden i fixed on France— the new kingdom Hen- 
in Domremy. As she fed her flock, she ' ry V. had added to the English monarchy, 
seemed to hear angel-voices saying that i There Bedford gained two great battles, 
she was chosen to save France. Going j won town after town, and, finally, resolv- 
to Charles, she announced that she was ing to carry the war into southern France, 



[15th cent. 

sent of Heaven to conduct him to be 
crowned at Rlieims— then in possession 
of the English. The king reluctantly 
committed his cause into her hands. 

laid siege to Orleans. The capture of 
this city was imminent, when Charles's 
cause was saved by a maiden. 

Jeanne, wearing a consecrated sword and bearing a holy 
banner, led Charles's army into Orleans. The French sol- 
diers were inspired 
by her presence, 
while the English 
quailed with super- 
stitious fear. The 
Maid of Orleans, 
as she was now 
called, raised the 
siege, led Charles 
to Rheims, and 
saw him crowned. 
Then, her mission 
accomplished, she 
begged leave to go 
back to her hum- 
ble home. But she 
had become too valuable to Charles, and he urged her to 
remain. The maid's trust, however, was gone, and the spell 
of her success failed. She was captured, thrown into a 
dungeon at Rouen, and tried as a witch. Abandoned by all, 
Jeanne was condemned and burnt at 'the stake (1431). 


The spirit of the maid survived her 
death. French patriotism was aroused, 
and, in spite of himself, Charles was 
borne to victory. First, the Duke of 
Burgundy grew lukewarm in the English 
cause, and, finally, Armagnacs and Bur- 
gundians clasped hands in the Treaty of 
Arras (1435). Bedford died broken- 
hearted. Paris opened its gates to its 
legitimate king. 

CharWs character seemed now to 

Henry VI , as a man, had little more 
authority than as a child. His wife, Mar- 
garet, was the daughter of Rene, Duke of 
Anjou. The English opposed this mar- 
riage with a French lady. But she pos- 
sessed beauty and force of character, 
and, for years, ruled in her husband's 

A formidoMe Insurrection broke out 
(1450) under Jack Cade, who, complaining 
of bad government, the king's evil ad- 


change. He seized the opportunity to 
press the war while England was rent 
with factions. He called to his councils 
Richeraont the Constable, and the famous 
merchant Jacques Coeur; convened the 
States-General ; organized a regular 
army; recovered Normandy and Gas- 
cony ; and sought to heal the wounds and 
repair the disasters of the long war. 

End of the Hundred- Years War.— 
Step by step, Charles pushed his con- 
quests from England. - Finally, Talbot, 
the last and bravest of the English cap- 
tains, fell on the field of Castillon, (1453), 
and his cause fell with him. It was the 
end of this long and bitter struggle. 
Soon, of all the patrimony of William the 
Conqueror, the dower of Eleanor, the 
conquests of Edward III. and Henry V., 
there was left to England little save the 
city of Calais. 

visers, taxes, etc., led a peasant host 
upon London. This uprising of the peo- 
ple was put down only after bloodshed. 
The nobles, long wont to enrich them- 
selves by the plunder of France, upon the 
reverses in that country, found England 
too small and their revenues too scant, 
and so struggled for place at home. The 
Duke of York, Protector during the in- 
sanity of the king, was loath to yield 
power on his recovery, and questions of 
I the succession became rile. The claims 
' of the house of York were supported by 
the Earl of Warwick— the ' ' king-maker," 
the most powerful nobleman in England. 
The sky was black with the coming storm 
—the W^ars of the Roses. The king's 
longing for peace, his feebleness, the in- 
fluence of the queen, the rivalries of the 
nobles— all weakened the English rule in 
France, and gave Charles his opportunity. 

[Two years after Talbot fell, England was desolated by the Wars 
of the Roses. Edward IV, deposed Henry VI. the same year that 
Charles VII. died and Louis XI. ascended the throne ; Richard III. and 
Charles VIII. were contemporaneous (1483), but English and French 
history during the rest of the 15th century was seldom interwoven.] 

Triumph of Absolutism. — Louis XL's reign marks an 
epoch in French history. He used every energy of his cruel, 
crafty mind, and scrupled at no treachery or deceit, to over- 
throw Feudalism and bring all classes in subjection to the 
crown. His policy of centralization restored France to her 
former position in Europe, and his administration, by mak- 
ing roads and canals, and encouraging manufactures and 
education, secured the internal prosperity of the country. 

The Dukedom of Burgundy, during the recent troubles 
of France, had gained strength. Comprising the duchy of 
Burgundy and nearly all the present kingdoms of Belgium 
and the Netherlands, it threatened to become an independ- 
ent state between France and Germany. Its duke, Charles 
the Bold, held the most splendid court in Europe. Restless 
and ambitious, he constantly pursued some scheme of annex- 



[15th cent. 

ation. He was met, 
however, on every 
hand by Louis's 
craft. Once he plan- 
ned with Edward IV. 
of England an inva- 
sion of France; the 
English army again 
crossed the channel, 
but Louis feasted the 
soldiers, and, finally, 
bribed Edward to re- 
turn home. Charles 
wanted Lorraine and 
Provence ; his rule 
in Alsace was harsh ; 
while he had offend- 
ed the Swiss. Louis 
cunningly contrived 
to combine these va- 
rious enemies against 
Charles. The ill-fated duke was defeated at Granson, Moral, 
and Nancy (1476-'7) ; and, after the last battle, his body was 
found frozen in a pool of water by the roadside. Thus 
ended the dream of a Burgundian kingdom. Mary, the 
daughter of Charles, retained his lands in the Low Countries, 
but France secured the duchy of Burgundy. 

Consolidation of the Kingdom. — Louis also added to 
his kingdom Artois, Provence, Roussillon, Maine, Anjou, 
Franche. Comte, and other extensive districts. After his 
death, his daughter, Anne of Beaujeu, who was appointed 
regent, secured for her brother, Charles VIII., the hand of 
Anne, heiress of Brittany. The last of the great feudal 





states between the Channel and the Pyrenees was absorbed 
by the crown. 

As the Middle Ages closed, France, united at home, was 
ready to enter upon schemes of conquest abroad; and the 
power of the king, instead of being spent in subduing the 
vassals of the crown, was free to assert the French influence 
among other nations. 



The Gauls.— The na- 
tive inhabitants of France 
were Gauls, or Celts. In 
earliest times they dressed 
in skins, dyed or tattooed 
their flesh, drank out of the 
skulls of their enemies, 
worshiped sticks, stones, 
trees, and thunder, and 
strangled the stranger 
wrecked on their coast. 
But, many centuries before 
the Bomans entered Gaul, 
it had been visited by the 
Phoenicians, and afterward 
by the Greeks, who left, 
especially along the coast, 
some traces of their arts. 
The Gauls were a social, 
turbulent, enthusiastic race, 
less truthf u! and more vain, 
more imaginative and less 
enduring than their neigh- 
bors — the Germans. Like 
them, they were large, fair- 
skinned, and yellow-haired. 
Noisy and fluent in speech, 
Cicero compared them to town-criers, while Cato was impressed with 
their tact in argument. Fond of personal display, they wore their hair 
long and flowing, and affected showy garments. Their chiefs glittered 




witli jewelry, and delighted in huge headpieces of fur and feathers, 
and in gold and silver belts, from which they hung immense sabers. 

They went to war in all this finery, though they often threw it oflP 
in the heat of battle. Armed with barbed, iron-headed spears, heavy 
broadswords, lances, and arrows, they rushed fiercely on their foe, 
shouting their fearful war-cry, " Off with their heads." Wildly elated 
by success, they were as greatly depressed by defeat. The gregarious 
instinct was strong, and, with the Hebrew tribe, the Greek phratry, the 
Roman gens, and the German family, may be classed — as, perhaps, the 
most tenacious and exclusive of all — the Celtic Clan. 

Their arts were suited to their taste for show. They made brilliant 
dyes and gaily-plaided stuffs, plated metals, veneered woods, wove and 
embroidered carpets, and adorned their cloaks with gold and silver 
wrought ornaments. Quick to assimilate, they gradually took on all 
the culture and refinements of their Italian conquerors, until the round, 
wattled, clay-plastered, and straw-thatched hut of the early Gaul was 
transformed into the elegant country villa or sumptuous town residence 
of the Gallo-Roraan gentleman. 

But the luxurious Gallo-Roman was forced to yield to a new race of 
conquerors — the Franks, or Teutons. And, finally, a third people — the 
Normans — left its impress upon the French character. In the combined 
result the Gallic traits were predominant, and are evident in the French- 
man of to-day, just as, across the Channel, the Teutonic influences 
have chiefly molded the English nation. 




Comparison with France. — The later Carlovingian 
kings in Germany were weak as in France ; and there, also, 
during the terrible Norseman invasions. Feudalism took deep 
root. While France comprised so many fiefs governed by 
nobles almost sovereign, Germany contained five separate 
nations — Franks, Saxons, Thuringians, Bavarians, and 
Swabians — whose dukes were almost independent in their 
realms. In France, the crown gradually absorbed the dif- 
ferent feudatories, and so formed one powerful kingdom; 
but through German history there runs no such connecting 
thread, the states continuing jealous, disunited, and often 
hostile. The German monarch was elective and not, like 
the French king, hereditary. The struggle of the crown 
with its powerful vassals was alike in both countries, but the 
results were different. While the descendants of Capet held 
the French throne for eight centuries, the German dynasties 
were short-lived. Germany had no central capital city, like 
Paris, around which the national sentiment could grow ; and 
the emperor was a Bavarian, a Saxon, but never permanently 
and pre-eminently a German. The German branch of the 
Carlovingian line ended about three-quarters of a century 
earlier than the French. Conrad, duke of the Franks, was 
elected by the nobles, and, being lifted on the shield, was 
hailed king (911). After a troubled reign, with singular 
nobleness he named as his successor his chief enemy, Henry 
of Saxony, who was thereupon chosen.* He inaugurated the 

Saxon Dynasty (919-1024).— The tribe conquered by 
Charlemagne only about a hundred years before now took 

♦ the messenger sent to inform him of his election found the duke catching 
finches, whence he was known as Henry the Fowler. 


the lead in German affairs. This dynasty embraced, in gen- 
eral, the 10th century. It gave to the throne two Henrys 
and three Ottos. 


Henry I., the Fowler (919-'36). 
Otto I., the Great (936-'73). 

Otto II. (973-'83). Henrt, Duke of Bavaria. 

Otto III. (9&3-1002). ' Henry. Duke of Bavaria. 

Henry II. (1002-^24). 

The Magyars, a barbarous people occupying the plains of 
modern Hungary, were the dreaded foe of the empire. More 
cruel than even the Norsemen, they were believed to be can- 
nibals, and to drink the blood of their enemies. They had 
repeatedly swept across Germany to the Ehine, burning and 
slaying without mercy. Henry I. and his son, Otto I., 
defeated them in two great battles. After the last over- 
throw, the Hungarians, as they were now called, from taking 
the lands once held by the Huns, settled down peaceably, 
and, by the year 1000, became Christian. On the adjacent 
frontier. Otto formed a military province — the Oster (east) 
March — a name since changed to Austria. 

The Burghers. — Seeing that the people needed strong 
places for their protection against their barbarous enemies, 
Henry founded walled towns and built fortresses, around 
which villages soon grew up. He also ordered every ninth 
man to live in one of these hurghs, as the fortresses were 
styled. Hence arose the burgher class, afterward the great 
support of the crown in the disputes with the nobles. 

Otto the Great (936-73), like his father, was strong 
enough to hold the German tribes together as one nation, 
and wage successful war against the Slaves, Danes, and other 


heathen neighbors on the east and the north. Emulating 
the glory of Charlemagne, he repeatedly descended into 
Italy,* receiving at Milan the crown of the Lombards, and 
at Eome that of the Caesars. Thus was re-established 

The Holy Roman Empire, founded in the golden age of 
the Frankish monarch. Henceforth the kings of Germany 
claimed to be kings of Lombardy and Homan emperors, and 
thought little of their royal title beside the imperial, which 
gave them, as the head of Christendom and guardian of the 
faith of the Catholic church, so much higher honor. But, 
in protecting their Italian interests, the emperors wasted the 
German blood and treasure that should have been devoted 
to compacting their home authority. They were often ab- 
sent for years, and meanwhile the dukes, margraves, and 
counts became almost sovereign princes. Thus Germany, 
instead of growing into a united nation, like other European 
peoples, remained a group of almost independent states. 

The Franconianf Dynasty (1024-1125) embraced, in 
general, the 11th century. It gave to the throne Gonrad IL, 
and Henry III., IV., and V. 


Conrad U. (10M-'39). 
Henry III. (1039-'56). 
Henry IV. (1056-1106). 

Henbt V. (1106-25). Agnes married 

Frederick of Hohenstaupkn. 

* There is a gleam of romance connected with Otto's first descent into Italy. Lo- 
thaire, king of that distracted country, had been poisoned by Berengar, a brutal 
prince, who, in order to secure the throne of Italy, wished to marry his son to Adel- 
heid, Lothaire's young and beautiful widow. She spurned the revolting alliance, 
and, escaping from the loathsome prison where she was confined, appealed to Otto, 
who defeated Berengar, and afterward married Adelheid. 

t The Eastern, or Teutonic Prancia (Frankland), is termed Pranconia, to distin- 
guish it from Western Prancia, or France (p. 335), 


Conrad II. (1024-'39) annexed to the empire the king- 
dom of Burgundy, thus governing three of the four great 
kingdoms of Charlemagne. (Map, p. 370.) 

Henry III. (1039-'56) elevated the empire to its glory, 
established order, and sought to enforce among the warring 
barons the Truce of God.* He was early called to Italy, 
where three candidates claimed the papacy. Henry deposed 
them all, placing four Germans successively in the papal 

Henry IV. (1056-1106) was only six years old at his 
father's death. Never taught to govern himself or others, 
he grew up to be fickle, violent, and extravagant. When, at 
the age of fifteen, he became king, his court was a scandal 
to Germany. Eeckless companions gathered about the 
youthful monarch. Ecclesiastical offices were openly sold. 
Women were to be seen blazing in jewels taken from the 
robes of the priests. His misrule provoked the fierce Saxons 
to revolt, and he subdued the insurrection only with great 
difficulty. Then came the peril of his reign. 

Hildeirand, the son of a poor carpenter, the monk of 
Cluny, the confidential adviser of five popes, now assumed 
the tiara as Pope Gregory VII. Saint-like in his purity of 
life, iron-willed, energetic, eloquent, he was resolved to re- 
form the church, and make it supreme. He declared that, 
having apostolic pre-eminence over kings, he could give and 
withhold crowns at pleasure ; that ecclesiastic offices should 
not be sold ; that jio prince should hold a priestly office ; 
that no priest should marry ; and that the pope alone had 
the right to appoint bishops and invest them with the ring 
and staff — the emblems of office. 

War of the Investiture. — At this time half of the land and 

* This ordered the sword to be sheathed each week between Wednesday evening 
and Monday morning, on pain of excommunication. (Brief Hist. France, p. 42.) 


the wealth of G-ermany was in the hands of abbots and 
bishops. To resign the right of investiture would release 
them from paying the emperor feudal service, and make 
them subject to the pope. Henry therefore treated the de- 
cree with contempt, and summoned at Worms a synod which 
deposed the pope ; in reply, the pope excommunicated 
Henry, and released his subjects from their allegiance. Now 
Henry reaped the fruit of his folly and tyranny. The Ger- 
man princes, glad of a chance to humble him, threatened to 
elect a new king. Cowed by this general defection, Henry 
resolved to throw himself at the feet of the pope. He ac- 
cordingly crossed the Alps, not, as his predecessors had done, 
at the head of a mighty army, but as a suppliant, with his 
faithful wife. Bertha, carrying his infant son. Eeaching 
Canossa, the king, barefooted, bareheaded, and clad in 
penitent's garb, was kept standing in the snow at the 
castle gate for three days before he was allowed to enter. 
Then, after yielding all to Gregory, he received the kiss of 

But this did not allay the strife in Germany. The princes 
elected Rudolph of Swabia as king, and Gregory finally rec- 
ognized the rival monarch. Henry now pushed on the war 
with vigor ; slew Rudolph in battle ; invaded Italy ; and 
appointed a new pope. Gregory, forced to take refuge 
among the Normans, died not long after at Salerno. His 
last words were, "I have loved righteousness and hated 
iniquity; therefore I die in exile." Hildebrand's successor, 
however, pursued his plans. The tendency of the best minds 
in Europe was toward papal supremacy. Henry's heart was 
softened by misfortune, and experience taught him wisdom ; 
but he could not regain his power, and he died at last, de- 
throned by his unnatural son. 

Henry V. (110G-'25), on taking the crown, deserted the 

GER3IAN EMPIRE M'^^^^i? ^fi^^ ^J 5 ^^ 


J/oi/ tht tciU 0/ «i« Tarp. 3lap 

HliH.\.t, il\.. 

tTllVTI<i>I>.tCI»9S» I 


papal party, and stoutly held his father's position. He in- 
vaded Italy, and forced Pope Paschal II. to crown him em- 
peror. But no sooner had Henry recrossed the Alps, than 
the Pope retracted the concessions and excommunicated 

The Concordat of Worms- {112^) finally settled the difficulty 
by a compromise, the investiture being granted to the pope, 
and homage for land to the emperor. The war had lasted 
nearly half a century. Though Henry was now at peace 
with the church, the struggle with the rebellious nobles 
went on through his Life. With him ended the Franconian 

Lothaire II. of Saxony was elected king by the princes, 
and crowned emperor by the pope ; but, after a brief and 
stormy reign, the crown passed to Conrad III. of Swabia, 
who founded 

The Hohenstaufen Line (1138-1254).— He struggled 
long with the Saxons and others who opposed his rule. 
During the siege of Weinsberg,* the rebels raised the war- 
cry of Welf—thQ name of their leader ; and Conrad's army, 
that of Waihlingen — the birthplace of Frederick of Swabia, 
the king's brother. These cries, corrupted by the Italians 
into Guelf and Ghihelline, were afterward applied to the 
adherents of the pope and the emperor respectively, and 
for centuries resounded from the MediteiTanean to the 
North Sea. Conrad, first of the German emperors, joined 
the Crusaders (p. 400). He died as he was preparing to 
visit Italy to be crowned emperor. 

* Conrad, upon the surrender of this city, resolved to destroy it, but allowed the 
women to take with them such valuables as they could carry. When the gates were 
thrown open, there appeared a long line of women, each staggering beneath the 
weight of her husband or nearest relative. Conrad was so aflfected by this touching 
scene, that he spared the city. 

380 MEDIEVAL PKOPLES.. [1153. 


CoNRAO Ili. (1138-'52). Frederick op Swabia. 

Frederick Barbarossa (115a-'90). 

I I 

Henrt VI. (1190-^97). Philip (1197-1208). 

FredLick II. (121&-'50). tOTTO IV. (1209-1215).] 

Conrad IV. (1250-'54). 
C!onbadine (Little Conrad). 

Frederick Barbarossa (the Eed Beard), Conrad III.'s 
nephew, was unanimously chosen king. He proved a 
worthy successor of Charlemagne and Otto L, and his reign 
was one of the most brilliant in the annals of the empire. 
He wielded the royal power with terrible force, established 
order, controlled the dukes, and punished the robber-knights. 
The phantom of the empire, however, allured him into 
Italy. Five times he crossed the Alps with magnificent 
armies, to be wasted by pestilence and the sword. He was 
crowned emperor, but only after he had consented to hold 
the pope's stirrup. 

The Italian cities, grown rich and powerful during the 
Crusades, were jealous of their rights and independence. 
Frequent wars broke out among them, as in old Greece, and 
the weaker cities, oppressed by the stronger, appealed to the 
emperor. The strife of Guelf and Ghibelline waxed hot. 
Quarrels arose with the Holy See. Milan was taken by 
Frederick and razed to the ground. The Lombard cities 
leagued against Frederick. Finally, after years of strife, the 
emperor, beaten on the decisive field of Legnano (1176), 
made peace, submitted to the demands of the pope, and 
granted the Italian cities their municipal rights. After 
this, contentment and peace marked the evening of Fred- 


erick's eventful life. He perished in the Third Cru- 
sade.* (Seep. 400.) 

Henry VI. (1190-'97),t the Cruel, hastened to Italy and 
was crowned emperor at Kome ; thence he invaded Naples 
and Sicily — the inheritance of his wife — where his rapacity 
recalled the days of the Goths and Vandals. His name is 
associated with Richard the Lion-hearted (p. 401). 

Frederick II. (1215-50) had been chosen King of the 
Romans, but he was a child at his father's death, and was 
.quite overlooked in Germany, where rival kings were elected. 
When he became of age, the Pope called on the German 
princes to elect him their monarch. He was accordingly 
crowned king at Aix-la-Chapelle, and emperor at Rome. 
His genius and learning made him "The Wonder of the 
World." He spoke in six languages, was versed in natural 
history and philosophy, and skilled in all knightly accom- 
plishments and exercises. More Italian than Teuton, he 
visited Germany only once during tliirty years, loving most 
to surround himself with poets, artists, and philosophers, 
in his brilliant Sicilian court. But he became involved in 
quarrels with one pope after another ; he was twice excom- 
municated; again the Italian cities raised the war-cry of 
Guelf and Ghibelhne, and he died in the midst of the long 
struggle (p. 395). 

The "Great InterregimmJ'— Conrad IV. (1250-'4) 
was the last Hohenstaufen king of Germany. Already 

* One day while marching through Syria, false news was brought him of the 
death of his son. Tears flowed down his beard, now no longer red but white. Sud- 
denly springing up, he shouted, '• My son is dead, but Christ still lives ! Forward !" 
—Tradition says that the Red Beard sleeps with his knights in a cavern of the Kyff- 
hauser, near the Hartz, and when " the ravens shall cease to hover about the moun- 
tain, and the pear tree shall blossom in the valley," then he shall descend at the 
head of his Crusaders, bringing back to Germany the golden age of peace and unity. 
A beautiful dream, the substance of which has been realized in our own day. 

t Henry had already been chosen successor and crowned " King of the Romans " 
— » titl^ tbencefortb borne by one thus appointed during an emperor's lifetime. 



[13th cent. 

rival monarch s had been chosen, and, after him, for nearly 
twenty years, the empire had no recognized head. So low 
did German patriotism sink that at one time the crown 
was offered to the highest bidder. Order became unknown 
outside of city- walls. Often during these dark days did the 
common people think of Barbarossa, and sigh for the time 
when he should awake from his long sleep and bring back 


quiet and safety. At last, even the selfish barons became 
convinced that Germany could not do without a govern- 
ment. The leading princes, who had usurped the right of 
choosing the king and were hence called Electors (p. 385), 
selected Count Rudolf of Hapshiirg (1273-'91). A brave, 
noble-hearted man, he sought to restore order, punish the 
robber-knights, and abolish private wars. 

State of Germany. — The independence of the princes had now 
reached its height. The Hohenstaufens, vainly grasping after power in 
Italy, had neglected their German interests, and Frederick II., for the 


sake of peace, even confirmed the princes in the right they had usurped. 
There were in Germany over sixty free cities, one hundred dukes, 
counts, etc., and one hundred and sixteen spiritual rulers — in all more 
than two hundred and seventy-six separate powers. In proof of the 
arrogance of the nobles, it is said that a certain knight, receiving a 
visit from Barbarossa, remained seated in the emperor's presence, saying 
that he held his lauds in fee of the sun. 

Each nobleman claimed the right of waging war, and, in the little 
district about his castle, was a law to himself. When at peace with 
the neighboring lords, he spent his time in the chase— tramping over 
the crops, and scouring through the woods, with his retainers and 
dogs. In war he watched for his foes, or attacked some merchant-train 
going to or from a city with which he was at feud. Robber-knights 
sallied out from their mountain fastnesses upon the peaceful traveler, 
and, escaping with their booty to their strongholds, bade defiance to 
the feeble power of the law. 

The peasants, more than others, needed a central power, able to 
keep the public peace and enforce justice. They were still feudal 
tenants. There was no one to hear their complaints nor redress their 
wrongs. The lords, encroaching more and more upon their ancient 
privileges, had robbed them of their common rights over the pastures, 
the wild game, and the fish in tho streams, until the peasants had be- 
come almost slaves. In fine weather, they were forced to work for 
their lord, while their own little crops were to be cared for on rainy 
days. Even during their holidays they were required to perform 
various services for the people at the castle. Time and again they rose 
to arms, and, elevating the bundschuh, or peasant's clog, struck for 
liberty. But the nobles and knightly-orders combining, always crushed 
the insurrection with terrible ferocity. 

The Feme was a tribunal of justice that sprang up in .Westphalia 
from the old Courts of Counts that Charlemagne established; During 
these troublous times it attained great power and spread far and wide, 
appeals being made to it from all parts of Germany. Its proceedings 
were secret, and the deliberations were often held in desolate places, 
or in some ancient seat of justice, as the famous Linden-tree at Dort-" 
mund. The death-sentence was always secretly and mysteriously 
executed; the dagger, having the symbol of the Feme, being plunged 
into the body, told how the avenging hand of justice had overtaken 
the criminal. 

The Growth of the Cities was a characteristic of the Middle 
Ages. They formed a powerful restraint upon the feudal lords. Each 
city was a little free state, fortified and provisioned for a siege. Behind 
its walls the old German love of liberty flourished, and views of life 
were cherished quite different from those of the castle and the court. 
The petty quarrels of the barons disturbed the public peace, injured 


trade, and forced the merchants to guard their convoys of goods. The 
vassals, constantly escaping from the lords and taking refuge in the 
towns, were a continual source of difference. There was, therefore, 
almost perpetual war between the cities and the nobles. The cities, 
compelled to ally themselves for mutual protection, became more and 
more a power in the land. The Rhenish League comprised seventy 
towns, and the ruins of the robber-knights' fastnesses destroyed by its 
forces, still exist along the Rhine, picturesque memorials of those law- 
less times. The Hanseatic League, at one period, numbered over eighty 
cities, had its own fleets and armies, and was respected by foreign 
kings. The emperors, finding in the strength of the cities a bulwark 
against the bishops and the princes, constantly extended the municipal 
rights and privileges. The free cities had the emperor for their lord, 
were released from other feudal obligations, and made their own laws, 
subject only to his approval. Every citizen was a freeman, bore arms, 
and was eligible to knighthood. Manufactures and trade throve in the 
favoring air of freedom, and merchant-princes became the equals of 
hereditary nobles. 

[From the middle of the 13th to the beginning of the 16th century, 
Germany was unfruitful of great men or great events. Its history for 
two hundred and fifty years presents only a few points of interest. 
The high dignity of the empire ended with the Hohenstaufens. Hence- 
forth its strongest monarchs were little more than German kings. 
They rarely ventured to cross the Alps, and, when they did so, pro- 
duced only a transient effect ; in time, they assumed the title of em- 
peror without the cx)ronation by the pope. Italy fell away from the 
imperial control, and Burgundy dropped into the outstretched hands of 

Hapsburg or Austrian Line.* — Eudolf renounced the 
rights of the Hohenstaufens in Italy, declaring that Eome 
was like a lion's den, to which the tracks of many animals 
led, but from which none returned. Having acquired Aus- 
tria, Styria, and Carniola, he conferred these provinces on 
his son, Albert I. (1298-1308), thus laying the foundation of 
the future greatness of the House of Hapsburg, or Austria. 
From the time of Albert IL (1438-'9) until Napoleon broke 
up the empire (p. 563), the electors chose as emperors, with 

* The House of Hapsburg was so oaioed from Budolfs qastle upon the ^wnks of 
the AftT m Switzerland. 


a single exception, a member of this family, and generally 
its liead. Thus Austria gave its strength to the empire, 
and, in turn, the empire gave its dignity to the Hapsburgs. 
Albert's father-in-law, Sigismund (1410-37), before he was 
raised to the imperial throne, was King of Hungary, and 
then began the close connection of Austria with that court. 

The Golden Bull (1356)* was a charter granted by 
Charles IV., fixing the electors, and the mode of choosing 
the emperors. It confirmed the custom of having seven 
electors — four temporal and three spiritual lords. The elec- 
tion was to take place at Frankfort and the coronation at 
Aix-la-Chapelle. The electors were granted sovereign rights 
within their territories, their persons declared sacred, and 
appeals to the emperor denied, ^save when justice was refused. 
This decree diminished the confusion which had hitherto 
attended the election of king, but it made the electors the 
most powerful persons in the empire, and perpetuated the 
fatal divisions of Germany. In the striking words of Bryce, 
" It legalized anarchy, and called it a constitution." 

The first university of Germany was founded at Prague by 
Charles IV.; it became so famous as soon to number seven 
thousand students. 

The Council of Constance (1414) was called by Sigis- 
mund, following the example of Constantine in convening 
the famous Council of Nice (p. 265). The object was to 
reform the church. This was the era of the "Great 
Schism." There were three popes, and their rivalries caused 
general scandal. Eighteen thousand clergymen, including 
cardinals and bishops, with a vast concourse of the chief 
vassals of the crown, learned men, knights, and ambassadors 
from the Christian powers, were present. The popes were 
all deposed, and a new one, Martin V., was chosen. 

* So-named from the knob of gold (bxUla aurea) in which its seal was enclosed. 


John Huss, rector of the university at Prague, who had 
adopted the views of Wycliffe, the English reformer, and 
attacked certain doctrines of the church, was summoned to 
appear before the Council. Under a safe-conduct from the 
emperor, Huss came ; but was tried, convicted of heresy, 
and burned at the stake (1415).* His ashes were thrown 
into the Ehine, to prevent his followers from gathering 
them. The next year, Jerome of Prague, who brought 
Wycliffe's writings to the university, suffered death in the 
same place. 

Hussite War (1419-'35). — The Bohemians, roused to 
fury by the death of their favorite teacher and by subse- 
quent persecutions, flew to arms. Under Ziska, " the one- 
eyed," they learned to strike unerringly with their farmers* 
flails, to wield heavy iron maces, and to shelter themselves 
behind wagons bound with chains. The emperor's troops 
fled before them, often without a blow. It was sixteen 
years before Bohemia was subdued. 

House of HohenzoUem. — Sigismund being in want of 
money, sold Brandenburg and its electoral dignity for four 
hundred thousand gold florins, to Frederick, Count of 
Hohenzollern (1415). The new elector vigorously ruled his 
possession, with gunpowder battered down the " castle walls, 
fourteen feet thick," of the robber-knights, and restored 
order and quiet. His descendants to-day occupy the throne 
of Prussia. 

The Diet of Worms (1495), summoned by Maximilian 

* When addressing the council, Sigismund said, "Date operam, ut ilia nefanda 
schisma e'radicetur." Upon a cardinal remarking to him that "schisma" is of the 
neuter gender, he replied, "I am king of the Romans and above grammar 1 "—When 
the executioner was about to light the pile from behind, Jerome called out, " Set in 
front; had I dreaded fire 1 should not have been here." Sylvius (afterward Pope 
Pius n.), in his Histoiy of Bohemia, says, " Both Huss and Jerome made haste to 
the fire as if they were invited to a feast ; when they began to burn they sang a 
hymn, and scarcely could the flames and the crackling of the fire stop their 


(1493-1519), decreed a Perpetual Peace, abolished the right 
of private war, and established the Imperial Chamber of 
Justice^ with power to declare the ban of the empire. In 
order to carry out the decisions of this body, Maximilian 
divided the empire into Ten Circles, each having its tribunal 
for settling disputes. He also founded the Aulic Council or 
court of appeal from the lower courts in Germany. The old 
Eoman law rapidly came into use in these tribunals. There 
was now a promise of order in this distracted country. 

Ma^milian's Marriage with Mary of Burgundy, the 
beautiful daughter of Charles the Bold (p. 370), added her 
rich dower to the House of Austria. 

The End of the Middle Ages was marked by the reign 
of Maximilian, and this monarch is known in German 
history as the "Last of tlie knights." Gunpowder had 
changed the character of war, printing was invented, feudal 
forms and forces were dying out, and the Reformation was 
coming on apace. 


Origin. — The confederation of the three Forest Cantons — 
Schwyz, Uri, and Unterwalden — clustered about the beaitti- 
ful lake of Lucerne, was the germ of Switzerland. They were 
German lands owing allegiance to the emperor, and their 
league for mutual defence was like that of other districts 
and cities of the empire. Rudolf, himself a Swiss count, 
liud estates in these cantons, and, being popular with his 
former neighbors, was chosen as their protector ; but the 
tyranny of his son Albert, the duke of Austria, when 
he became emperor, roused these brave mountaineers to 
assert their independence.* Three great battles mark the 
successive stages in their struggle for liberty. 

* One November night in 1307, a little company met under the open sky and 


Battle of Morgarten (1315).— Albert was assassinated 
while marching to crush the rising, but his successor 
Leopold, duke of Austria, invaded Switzerland with an army 
of fifteen thousand men, ostentatiously bearing ropes for 
hanging the chief rebels. The Swiss, only thirteen hundred 
in all, after a day of fasting and prayer, took post in the 
defile of Morgarten — the Thermopylae of Switzerland. 
Fifty outlaws, denied the privilege of fighting with the 
main body, were stationed on a cliff overlooking the 
entrance. When the heavy-armed cavalry were well in the 
pass, the band of exiles suddenly let fall an avalanche of 
stones and timber. This throwing the Austrian column 
into confusion, the Swiss rushed down with their halberts 
and iron-shod clubs. The flower of the Austrian chivalry 
fell on that ill-fated day. Leopold himself escaped only by 
the aid of a peasant, who led him through by-paths over 
the mountain. 

Battle of Sempach (1386). — About seventy years passed 
when Leopold — a nephew of the one who fought at Mor- 
garten — sought to subdue the League. He found the patriots 
posted near the little lake of Sempach. The Austrian 
knights, dismounting, formed a solid body clad in armor 
from head to foot, and with long projecting spears. The 

Boleintily swore to defend their liberty. This was the birthday of Swiss independ- 
ence. The next New Year's was fixed for the uprising. Meanwhile Gessler, an Aus- 
trian governor, set up a hat in the market-place of Altorf and commanded all to bow 
to it in homage. William Tell, passing by with his little son, refused this obeisance. 
Brought before Gessler, he was doomed to die unless he could shoot an arrow 
through an apple placed on his boy's head. Tell pierced the apple, but the tyrant, 
noticing a second arrow concealed in his belt, asked its purpose. " For thee," was 
the reply, " if the first had struck my son." Enraged, Gessler ordered him to a 
prison upon the opposite shore of the lake. While crossing, a storm arose, and in 
the extremity of the danger Gessler unloosed Tell, hoping by his skill to reach land. 
As they neared the rocky shore, Tell leaped out, and, hiding in the glen, shot Gess- 
ler as he passed.— This romantic story is thought by critics to have been, at least, 
much adorned by tradition, but the memory of Tell is still dear to the Swiss, and 
every traveler in that land is shown the chapel that stands upon the rock to which 
the hero leaped from Gessler's boat. 


Swiss, first dropping on their knees and offering prayer, 
advanced to the charge. But the forest of spears resisted 
every attack. Sixty of their httle band had fallen, and not 
one of the enemy had received a wound. At this crisis, 
Arnold Von Winkelried rushed forward, shouting, "I will 
open a way ; take care of my wife and children." Then, sud- 
denly gathering in his arms as many spears as he could reach, 
he buried them in his bosom and bore them to the ground. 
The wall of steel was broken. His comrades rushed over 
his body to victory. 

Another triumph at Ndfels, two years later, and the Swiss 
confederates were left undisturbed for many years. 

GroTvth of the Confederacy. — Lucerne, Berne, and 
other cities, early joined the League; in the middle of 
the 14th century it comprised the so-called Eight Ancient 
Cantons. The victory over Charles the Bold greatly 
strengthened the Swiss Confederation. Swiss soldiers were 
henceforth in demand, and thousands left the homely fare 
and honest simplicity of their native land, to enlist as mer- 
cenaries under the banners of neighboring princes. 

At the end of the 15th century, • Maximilian sought to 
restore the imperial authority over the Swiss, but failed, and 
by an honorable peace practically acknowledged their inde- 
pendence, though it was not formally granted until the 
Treaty of Westphalia (p. 485).* 

* It is curious that though the names Swiss and Switzerland, derived from that 
of the chief canton, early came into use, they were not formally adopted until the 
present century. 



Italy in the 10th Century, after the fall of the Car- 
lovingians, was a scene of frightful disorder. A crowd of 
petty sovereignties sprang up, and the rival dukes disputed 
for their titles with dagger and poison. When Otto the 
Great restored the Holy Eoman Empire, the fortunes of 
Italy became blended with those of Germany. During the 
long contest between the pope and the emperor, the feudal 
lords and the cities sided with either as best suited their 
interest. For centuries the strife of Guelf and Ghibelline 
convulsed the peninsula. 

Power of the Popes. — We have seen how, upon, the 
ruins of pagan Eome, the church founded a new emj)ire. 
Many causes combined to extend her power. Amid the 
gloom of the Dark Ages, the lights of learning and piety 
burned brightly within monastery walls. The convents and 
their lands were isles of peace in a sea of violence and wrong. 
The monks of St. Benedict divided their time among acts 
of devotion, copying of manuscripts, and tilling of land. 
Education was almost forgotten by the laity. The clergy 
alone could read and write, as well as use the Latin lan- 
guage — then the general medium of communication among 
different nations. Priests were therefore the teachers, secre- 
taries, and ambassadors of kings. 

The church afforded a refuge to the oppressed. None 
was too lowdy for her sympathy, while the humblest man 
in her ranks could rise to the highest office of trust and 
honor. When Feudalism was triumphant and kings were too 
weak and men too ignorant to oppose it, hers was the only 
power that could restrain the fierce baron, and enforce the 
Truce of God. With the gift of Pepin, the pope became a 


political prince, and as such continued to extend his Italian 

The 11th century brought a great increase of papal power. 
A current belief (founded on Eev. xx. 1-7) that the world 
would come to an end in the year 1000, checked the ravages 
of war. Lands and money were freely bestowed upon the 
church, and when the time passed and the world still stood, 
men's hearts, touched even through their coats of mail, 
softened with gratitude, and king and lord vied in erecting 
magnificent cathedrals, whose ruins are to-day the admira- 
tion of the world. The Crusades also greatly strengthened 
the power of the pope (p. 397). 

For centuries a command from Rome was obeyed through- 
out Christendom. When Pepin wished to depose the do- 
nothing sovereign, he appealed to Rome for permission; 
when Charlemagne Avas to take the title of emperor, it 
was the pope who placed the crown upon his head ; when 
William the Conqueror desired to invade England, he first 
secured permission from the pope ; when Henry II. longed 
for Ireland, Adrian IV. granted it to him on the ground 
that all islands belonged to the Holy See; and so late 
even as 1493, Pope Alexander VI. divided between the 
Spanish and the Portuguese their discoveries in the New 

The papal power, however, reached its zenith in the begin- 
ning of the 13th century, under Innocent III. He acquired 
independent sovereignty in Italy, gave to Peter of Aragon 
his kingdom as a fief, compelled Philip Augustus of France 
to receive back the wife he had put away, crushed the 
Albigenses, and imposed a tribute upon John of England. 
He claimed to be an earthly king of kings, and the papal 
thunder, enjoining peace and punishing public and private 
offences, rolled over every nation in Europe. 


The decline of the papal power was made evident in the 
14th century by the residence of the popes in France, known 
in church history as the Babylonish captivity (1305-77), 
Thus, the contest between Boniface YIII. and Philip IV. 
ended very differently from the War of Investiture between 
Henry IV. and Gregory VII. 

The 15th century is noted for its ecclesiastical councils, 
which gave to the monarch a court of appeal from the 
decisions of the Holy See. The councils of Constance and 
Bdle sought to change the government of the church from 
an absolute to a limited sovereignty. Charles VII. o,f 
France, by a national assembly, adopted several decrees of 
the latter council ; and the Pragmatic Sanction, as this was 
termed, rendered the Galilean church more independent and 
national. The tendency to curb the papal authority, a pre- 
cursor of the Eeformation, was now rife throughout Europe. 
The weakness caused by the Great Schism invited opposi- 
tion, and Rome was forced to confine its political action 
mainly to Italian affairs. 

Italian Cities. — With the decline of the imperial rule in 
Italy, many of its cities, like those of Old Greece, became 
free, strong, and powerful. Four especially, Venice, Flor- 
ence, Pisa, and Genoa, attained great importance. The 
Italian ships brought thither the rich products of the East, 
and her merchants, called Lombards,* distributed tiiem 
over Europe. The trading princes of Genoa and Venice 
controlled the money of the world, and became the first 
bankers — the bank of Venice dating from 1171. The 
progress of commerce and manufacture made these cities, 
in the elegance of their buildings and the extent of their 

* The street in London where these merchants settled, is still known as Lom- 
bard Street. The three balls— the sign of a pawnbroker's shop— are the arms 
of Lombardy, being assumed when the Lombards were the money-lenders of Eu- 



wealth, the rivals of any nation of their time, and their 
alliance was eagerly sought y^ir\ -, 

by the most powerful / >» ^-^^ .^ 


Venice Avas founded in 
the 5th century by refu- 
gees from Attila's invasion 

of Italy (p. 269) ; her ruler was a 
Doge ; her patron saint was St. 
Mark. The Queen of the Adriatic 
early became a great naval power, 
rendered valuable assistance in 
transporting the Crusaders, carried 
on sanguinary wars with Genoa, 
and finally reigned supreme in the Mediterranean. 


In the 14th and 15th centuries the government grew into 
an oppressive oligarchy, the secret Council of Ten, like the 
Spartan Ephors, controlling the Doge and holding the 
threads of life and death. The dagger, the poisoned ring, 
the close gondola, the deep silent canal, the Bridge of Sighs, 
and the secret cell beyond — all linger in the mysterious his- 
tory of the time. But the golden period of her commerce 
passed when Vasco da Gama rounded the Cape of Good 
Hope, and discovered a new route to the Indies. 

Florence, originally a colony of Roman soldiers, in the 
13th century became one of the chief cities of Italy. While 
Venice, like Sparta of old, had an aristocratic government, 
that of Florence resembled democratic Athens. The Floren- 
tine jewellers, goldsmiths, and bankers brought the city 
renown and wealth. The citizens were curiously organized 
into companies or guilds of the different trades and profes- 
sions, with consuls, banners, and rules of government. In 
case of any disturbance, the members rallied about their 
respective standards.* 

The Family of the Medici {med'e-che), during the 15th 
century, obtained control in the state, though without 
changing the form of government. Cosmo de' Medici — the 
" father of his country," his grandson — Lorenzo the Mag- 
nificent, and Giovanni — better known as Pope Leo X.,f 
patronized literary men and artists, encouraged the copying 
of manuscripts, and revived a knowledge of the treasures of 

* The city was rent by fractional feuds not only of the Ghibellincs and Guelfs, but 
also of the Gnelfs themselves, who were divided into two parties— Whites and 
Blacks. These were constantly fighting, and besieging each other's housdfe. Here, 
as well as elsewhere in Italy, the mansions of the nobles were fortresses, massively 
built of masonry, often fUrnished with lofty towers, and having, instead of windows 
below, only apertures covered by huge, wrought-iron grates. 

t Pope Leo, in order to complete the building of the magnificent cathedral of St. 
Peter's at Rome authorized the sale of the indulgences that kindled the fires of the 
Reformation. Thus the Medici love of art and the grandeur of St. Peter's are india- 
Bolubly connected with the establishment of the Protestant religion. 


Grecian architecture, sculpture, poetry, and philosophy. 
The study of the antique masterpieces led to the founding 
of a nevy school of art, known as the Italian Renaissance. 
In this brilliant period of Florentine history flourished 
Michael Angelo — poet, sculptor, and painter; the renowned 
artists, Raphael and Leonardo di Vinci ; and the famous 
reformer, Savonarola, afterward burned for heresy. 

The Ttvo Sicilies. — After Charlemagne's time, the 
Arabs conquered Sicily. In the 11th century — that era of 
Norman adventure — the Normans invaded Southern Italy, 
and seized the lands held by the Saracens and the Eastern 
emperor' They finally subdued Naples and Sicily, and 
founded the kingdom of the Two Sicilies : so a " French- 
speaking king ruled over Arabic-speaking Mohammedans 
and Greek-speaking Christians." 

The crown was transferred to the Hohenstaufens by the 
marriage of its heiress, Constance, to the emperor Henry VI. 
The polished court of Frederick II. made Naples the centre 
of civilization and culture, but the youthful Conradin — the 
last heir of the Hohenstaufens — perished on the scafibld in 
its market-place, in full sight of the beautiful inheritance he 
had lost so untimely. 

Tlie kingdom then fell to the papal nominee, Charles of 
Anjou, brother of Saint Louis of France. The Sicilians, 
however, hated the French for their tyranny ; and one day 
a soldier, by insulting a bride in the cathedral, enraged the 
populace to a revolt. As the vesper-bell rang on Easter 
Monday, 1282 (a date known as that of the Sicilian Vespers), 
the ever-ready Italian stiletto leaped from its sheath ; scarcely 
a Frenchman survived the horrible massacre that followed. 
The Two Sicilies afterward remained separate until (1435) 
they were united under Alfonso V. of Aragon. 

Rome was naturally the focus of the long strife between 



Ghibellines and Guelfs, and thither the German kings came, 
arms in hand, to demand the imperial crown. During the 
Babylonish captivity, the city was convulsed by deadly 
feuds between the noble families of the Orsini, Colonna, and 

Savelli. The 
famous monu- 
ments of the 
elder Eome — 
the Arch of 
Titus and the 
were fortified 
as the strong- 
holds of rival 
clans. At this 
time, Eienzi 
sought to re- 
vive the an- 
cient republic 
(1347). Of 
humble origin, 
he was the 
friend of Pe- 
trarch, the poet, and possessed 
a fiery eloquence that moved 
the masses. Elected tribune, he ruled for seven months, but, 
forgetting the simplicity of the olden time, he dressed in silk 
and gold, and was preceded by heralds with silver trumpets 
to announce his approach. The nobles rose against him, 
the people fell away, and the " Last of the Tribunes" was 
slain in a street riot. 




THE CRUSADES (1095-1270). 

Origin. — Palestine, the land made sacred for all time by 
the presence of Christ, had, from the earliest ages of the 
church, a strong attraction for believers. A pilgrimage to 
Jerusalem, or other hallowed spot, became the most popular 
of penances. In the general belief, to atone for the greatest 


sin, one had only to bathe in the Jordan, or spend a night 
on Calvary. The number of pilgrims greatly increased about 
the year 1000, many desiring to await in the Holy Land the 
coming of the Lord. The Saracens welcomed the pilgrims ; 
but the Turks, who afterward conquered Palestine, inflicted 
upon them every outrage that fanaticism could invent. 
Each returning palmer told a fresh tale of horror. Peter 



[llTH CENT. 

the Hermit, stirred by what he saw in Jerusalem, resolved to 
rescue the Holy Sepulchre. With bare head and feet, 
dressed in a coarse robe tied with a cord, bearing a crucifix 
in his hand, and riding an ass, this fierce monk traversed 
Italy and France. Pope Urban II. supported his burning 
appeals. At a council held at Clermont, the assembled mul- 
titude shouted with one impulse, *^God wills it!" Thou- 
sands volunteered for the holy war, and fastened to their gar- 
ments the red cross — 
the symbol of this sa- 
cred vow. 

The First Crusade 
(1096)* numbered over 
half a million fighting 
men under Godfrey, 
duke of Bouillon. There 
were one hundred thou- 
sand steel-clad knights, 
including such nobles as 
Robert of Normandy, 
eldest son of William 
the Conqueror; Bohe- 
mond, son of Robert 
Guiscard, the Norman 
founder of the kingdom of Sicily; Hugh, brother of Philip I. 
of France; and Tancred, next to Godfrey, the pattern of 

* Prior to this, Peter the Hermit and a poor knight named Walter the Penniless, 
set off with a motley rabhle of three hundred thousand men. women, and children. 
Without order or dis=cipline, they crossed Europe, robbing the inhabitants and killing 
the Jews wherever they went. So great was the delusion, that farmers took their 
families with them in carts drawn by oxen ; and the children, carrying mimic 
swords, sported about, and shouted, whenever they saw a castle or town, "Isn't that 
Jerusalem ?" Thousands of the fanatical crowd were skin en route by the outraged 
people. The pitiable remnant fell beneath the Turkish sabre, and their bleached 
l)ones served to fortify the camp of the second crusaders. 


1096.] THE CRUSADES. 399 

This great army poured into Constantinople.* The em- 
peror Alexis quickly passed his unwelcome guests into Asia. 
Nice and Antioch were captured after bloody sieges. Finally, 
the Crusaders, reduced to only twenty thousand men, ap- 
proached Jerusalem. When they came in sight of the Holy 
City, the hardy warriors burst into tears, and in a transport 
of joy kissed the earth. It was forty days before they could 
pull down the Crescent from the walls-f Then, forgetting 
the meekness of the Saviour whose tomb they were seeking, 
and in spite of Godfrey's and Tancred's protests, they mas- 
sacred seventy thousand infidels, and burned the Jews in 
their synagogue. As evening came 
on, while the streets still ran with 
blood, they threw off their helmets, 
bared their feet, entered the Church 
of the Holy Sepulchre, sang hymns 
of praise, and partook of the com- 

Godfrey was now elected king of 
Jerusalem, but he. refused to wear a ""^^^ °" ''"' '^"'"^'' ^ 
crown of gold where his master had Ijorne one of thorns. 
He was therefore styled Baron of the Holy Sepulchre : on 
his death, the crown fell to Baldwin, his brother. "War was 
continually waged betAveen the Christians in the Holy City 
and their Mohammedan neighbors. During these contests, 
there arose two famous military religious orders — the Hospi- 
tallers, who wore a white cross on a black mantle, and the 
Templars, whose badge was a red cross on a white mantle. 
They vowed obedience, celibacy, and poverty; to defend 

* The haughty Teutons looked with contempt on the effeminate Greeks, and a 
rough baron rudely ascended the imperial throne, and sat down beside the monarch. 

t Jerusalem was then held by the Saracenic caliph of Egypt, who had wrested 
Palestine from the Turks. 

% Two knights on one horse, to indicate the original poverty of the order. 


pilgrims; and to be the first in battle and the last in 

Second Crusade (1147).— Half a century passed, when 
the swarming Saracens seemed about to overwhelm the little 
Frank kingdom in Palestine. St. Bernard now preached a 
new Crusade. Louis VII. of France and Conrad III. of 
Germany led across Europe three hundred thousand men.* 
But the treacherous emperor of the East cut off their food, 
and betrayed the Germans to the Turks amid the mountains 
of Cappadocia. The French, more as pilgrims than soldiers, 
reached Jerusalem, and, Conrad having joined Louis, the 
two monarchs laid siege to Damascus. Beaten back from 
its walls, they abandoned the Crusade in humiliation. 

Third Crusade (1189). — Forty years elapsed, when the 
Egyptian sultan, Saladin, chief of Moslem warriors for 
courage and courtesy, took Jerusalem. The news convulsed 
Europe with grief. Kichard Coeur de Lion, Philip Augus- 
tus, and Frederick Barbarossa assumed the Cross. Frederick 
took a magnificent army across Hungary. While marching 
through Asia Minor, in attempting to swim a swollen stream, 
he was drowned. 

Richard and Philip, conveying their troops by sea, had 
captured Acre— the key to Palestine — when the French 
king, jealous of the Lion-hearted's prowess and fame,f re- 

* Louis was accompanied by queen Eleanor (afterward divorced, and married to 
Henry n., p. 356), leading a body of women clad in knightly array ; and Conrad was 
followed by a similar band, whose chief, with her gilt spurs and buskins, was called 
the Golden -footed Dame. 

t The fame of Richard's valor lingered long in the East. Mothers stilled their 
children by uttering his dreaded name ; and, when the Moslem and Christian host 
had been dust for many years, horsemen would shout to a shying steed, '* Dost thou 
think it is King Richard?" In thousands of English homes, men idolized the Lion- 
hearted, in spite of his cruelty, the uselessness of his triumphs, and the weakness of 
his reign. Saladin's admiration, too, was roused by Richard's valor. In the midst 
of battle, his brother sent begging of the English king the "honor of knighthood ; and 
when Philip and Richard lay tossing with fever in their tents before Acre, their gen- 
erous foe forwarded them presents of pears and snow. 

12th cent.] 



turned home. Richard pressed on, and at last reached a 
hill whence he could see Jerusalem, twenty miles away. 
Hesitating to attack the city, he covered his face and sadly 
tunied back, declaring that he who was " unwilling to rescue 
was unworthy to view the sepulchre of Christ." 

On his return through Germany, Eichard was thrown into 
prison by Leopold, duke of Austria, whom he had grievously 

insulted in Palestine. 
After a time he was 
turned over to the 
German emperor, 
Henry VI. The Eng- 
lish people, to ransom 
their gallant king, 
were forced to give 
one-fourth of their 
incomes, and even to 
pawn the church 

This was the last 
Crusade that reached 
Palestine in force. 
The subsequent ex- 
peditions were direct- 
ed to other objects. 

The Fourth Cru- 
sade (1202) was sent 
out by Henry VI., 
the Lion-hearted's jailor. Transports were obtained from 
the Venetians, by agreeing to take Zara, a city of Dalmatia, 
for the Doge. The Crusaders next sailed for Constantino- 
ple, to restore its dethroned emperor Isaac. They stormed 
the city, plundered its palaces, and destroyed its precious 

fTftuTncM. scRvma 



[13th cent. 

monuments. A Latin empire was now established at Con- 
stantinople. This lasted half a century, and there seemed a 
hope of reuniting the Eastern and the Western church ; but 
the Greeks recovered the Byzantine capital (1261).* 
The Fifth Crusade (1218), led by the King of Hungary, 

was finally directed to 
Egypt, as it was thought 
that the conquest of that 
country would be a step 
toward the recovery of 
Palestine. It ended in 


The Sixth Crusade (1228) was a pacific one. The Ger- 
man emperor Frederick II., although under an interdict 

* The Children's Crusade (1212) well illustrates the wild folly of the times. Thirty 
thousand French hoys, led by a peasant youth named Stephen, started to do what so 
many armies had failed to accomplish. After innumerable hardships they reached 
Marseilles. Here they were induced by unscrupulous traders to take ship. Instead 
of going to Palestine, they landed in Africa, and large numbers of these unhappy 
children were sold as slaves in the Saracen markets. 

13th cent.] the crusades. .403 

from the pope, went to Palestine, by a treaty with the sul- 
tan freed Jerusalem and Bethlehem from the infidels, and, 
entering the Holy City, crowned himself king. A few years 
later, a horde of Asiatic Turks, fleeing before the Mongols 
under Genghis Khan (p. 405), overwhelmed the country. 

The Seventh and Eighth Crusades (1249, 1270) were 
conducted by Saint Louis. In the first expedition, he landed 
in Egypt, hut was taken prisoner, and his release secured 
only by a heavy ransom ; in the second, he went to Tunis, 
with the wild hope of baptizing its Mohammedan king. 
Instead of a proselyte, he found a grave. With the death of 
Saint Louis, the spirit of the Crusades expired. Soon after, 
the Mohammedans captured Acre — the last Christian strong- 
hold in Palestine. 

Effects of the Crusades.— Though these vast military expe- 
ditions had failed of their direct object, they had produced marked 
results. By staying the tide of Mohammedan conquest, they doubtless 
saved Europe from the horrors of Saracenic invasion. Commerce had 
received a great impulse, and a profitable trade had sprung up between 
the East and the West. The Italian cities had grown rich and power- 
ful ; while the European states, coming into contact with the more 
polished nations of the East, had gained refinement and culture. 

Many a haughty and despotic baron had been forced to grant munici- 
pal rights to some city, or sell land to some rich merchant, to procure 
funds for his outfit ; thus there slowly grew up, between the lord and 
the peasant, a strong middle class. 

As the popes led in the Crusades, their influence increased immensely 
during this period. The departing crusaders received special privi- 
leges from the church, while their person and property were under its 
immediate protection. Many knights willed their estates to a neighbor- 
ing monastery, and, as few returned from the East, the church thus 
acquired vast wealth. 




After the Moorish Conquest, the wreck of the Visi- 
goths found refuge among the mountains of Asturias. 
Gradually they gained strength, and began to win back the 
land of their fathers. Nowhere ^vas the Crusade against the 
Saracen w^aged more gallantly. Early in the 13th century 
there were firmly established in the peninsula four Christian 
kingdoms — Portugal, Aragon, Castile, and Navarre — while 
the Moorish power had shrunk to the single province of 
Granada. The free constitutions of Aragon and Castile 
guaranteed the liberties of the people, and in the Cortes, or 
national assemblies of these kingdoms, the third estate se- 
cured a place long before representation was granted the 
commons of any other European country. The mamagc 
of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile (1469), laid 

1492.] ASIA Iiq- THE MIDDLE AGES. 405 

the foundation of the Spanish power. These illustrious 
sovereigns resolved to expel the infidels from their last 
stronghold. Town after town was taken. The old Moorish 
castles and towers, impregnable to battering-ram or cata- 
pult, crumbled before the cannon of the Spanish engineers. 
Finally, the time came, as Ferdinand said, "^ to pick out the 
last seed of the Moorish pomegranate." * The city of 
Granada was invested. After an eight-months siege. King 
Abdallah gave up the keys of the Alhambra. f It was now 
1492, the year of the discovery of America. 


The principal Asiatic nations which influenced history 
during this period were the Mongols, and the Turks. These 
were Tartar races having their home on the vast plateau 
of mid- Asia. 

The Mongols came into prominence in the 13th cen- 
tury, under Genghis Khan. This chief of a mere petty 
horde subdued the neighboring tribes, and then organized 
and disciplined the whole Tartar manhood into one enor- 
mous army of horsemen. The result was appalling. The 
world liad not seen since the time of Alexander such expedi- 
tions as this incomparable cavalry now made. If Attila was 
in Europe the '^ Scourge of God," much more did Genghis 
in Asia deserve that epithet. Fifty thousand cities, with 
their treasures of art, and five million human lives, were sac- 
rificed to his thirst for plunder and power. The sons and 
grandsons of Genghis followed up his conquests, until the 
Mongul Empire finally reached from the Pacific Ocean to the 
banks of the Vistula in Poland. 

* Granada is the Spanish word for pomegranate. 

+ The fallen monarch, riding away, paused upon a rock, still known as the *' Last 
eigh of the Moor," to take a final view of the beautiful country and the " pearl of 
palaces" which he had lost. As he burst into tears, his mother exclaimed, " It befits 
you to bewail like a woman what you could not defend like a man," 


This mighty empire fell in pieces during the next century ; 
but about 1369 there arose a descendant of Genghis named 
Timour, or Tamerlane, who sought to reunite the Mongul 
conquests. He conquered Great Tartary and Persia, and 
invaded India — crossing the Indus where Alexander did. 
Turning thence into Asia Minor, he defeated the sultan of 
the Ottoman Turks, Bajazet (lightning), upon the plains of 
Angora (1402) ; but afterward, marching to invade China, 
he died en route. His armies and empire quickly melted 
away. The track of the ferocious conqueror in his devas- 
tating path across Asia was marked by the pyramids of 
human heads he erected as monuments of his victories. 

Baber — a descendant of Tamerlane — followed up the con- 
quest of India, and established his capital at Delhi. There 
the "Great Moguls" long ruled in magnificence, erecting 
mosques and tombs that are yet the admiration of the trav- 
eler. The last of the Mogul emperors died almost in our 
own day, being still prayed for in every mosque in India, 
though confined to his palace by the English army, and liv- 
ing upon an English pension. 

The Turks. — (1) The Seljuhian Turks, about the time 
of the Norman Conquest, captured Bagdad, and their chief 
received , from the cahph the high-sounding title of Com- 
mander of the Faithful. In 1076 they seized Jerusalem, 
where their brutal treatment of the pilgrims caused, as we 
have seen, the Crusades. The fragments of this first Turk- 
ish empire were absorbed in the dominions of Genghis Khan. 
(2) The Ottoman Turks were so named from Othman 
(1299-1326), the founder of their empire. His son Orchan 
created the famous force of Janizaries* (new troops), and a 

* The stoutest and handsomest of the captive youth were annually selected for 
service in the army. Educateri in the religion of their masters, and trained to arms, 
they formed, like the Praetorian Guard of Rome, a powerful body-guard that was the 
terror of Europe. 

15th cent.] fall of constantikople, 


body of his warriors, crossing the Hellespont, gained a foot- 
ing on European soil — the first in Turkish history (1356) ; 
his grandson Amurath captured Adrianople ; his great- 
grandson Bajazet, in the battle of NicopoUs (1396), routed 
the chivalry of Hungary and. France, ravaged Greece, and 
was finally checked only by a stronger Asiatic conqueror, 
the dreaded Tamerlane. 

Half a century passed, when Mohammed II., with an army 
of over two hundred and fifty thousand Turks, sat down be- 
fore Constantinople. Artillery of unwonted size and power 
battered its walls for fifty-three days. The Janizaries at 
length burst through. The emperor Constantino, the last 
of the Caesars, was slain, sword in hand, in the breach, and 
the Byzantine empire that had lasted one thousand and 
fifty-eight years, fell to rise no more. The crescent replaced 
the cross on the dome of St. Sophia. It was the closing 
event of the Middle Ages (1453).* 

* The pupil will notice that -while the fall of Constantinople is taken by historians 
as the event which marked the close of the Middle Ages, there was really a transition 
period from the Middle Ages to Modem History, the length and date of which varied 
among the different nations. Each people had its own dawn and sunrise, and for 
itself entered into the day of modem civilization and progress. 





Hise of Feudalism. — The Roman government had sometimes 
granted lands on condition of military service ; the Franks followed 
a chief as their personal lord. Out of these two old-time customs there 
grew up a new system which was destined to influence society and 
politics throughout Europe for centuries. This was 

The Feudal System. — We have seen how the brave freemen 
who followed the Teuton Chief shared in the land acquired by con- 
quest, each man's portion being called his Allod (from od, an estate) 
and becoming his personal property. But in those troublous times 

(From MS. of the Time.) 

men had to fight to retain what they had won. So it came to pass 
that a king, instead of keeping a great standing army to guard his 
scattered possessions or to prosecute foreign wars, granted a part of 
his estates as fiefs or feuds to his nobles. In this transaction he, as 
their suzerain, promised to them justice and protection, and they, as 
his vassals, agreed not only to serve him in person, but to furnish upon 
his call a certain number of armed men ready and equipped for active 
military service. In like manner the vassals of the crown granted estates 
to their followers ; and, in time, most of the allodial owners were glad to 
swear fealty to some great lord in order to secure his protection. Pow- 
erful nobles became vassals of kings, and kings themselves were 
vassals of other kings, — as was William the Conqueror, who, as Duke 
of Normandy, owed homage to the dissolute Philip I. of France. Not 
laymen alone but bishops and monastic bodies held their lands by 
military service, and were bound to furnish their quota of soldiers. 


These different bands of armed men, collected together, formed the 
feudal army of the kingdom. Thus, in place of the solid, highly or- 
ganized, Roman legion, there was a motley array furnished and com- 
manded by the great nobles of the realm, each of whom was followed 
by an enormous retinue of knights, esquires, and lesser nobles, leading 
the military contingent of their respective manors or estates. 

In France, by the 11th century, feudalism was full grown and its 
evils were at their height. The country was covered by a complete 
net- work of fiefs, and even the most simple privileges, such as the right 
to cross a certain ford, or to fish in some small creek, were held by 
feudal tenure. In this way one lord was frequently both suzerain and 
vassal to his neighbor lord. As the royal power had become almost 
paralyzed, the French dukes and counts ruled their compact domains 
like independent kings. Sheltered in their castles and surrounded by 
their followers, they made war, formed alliances, and levied taxes at 
their pleasure. 

In England, the Norman Conqueror, knowing well the French mis- 
rule, prevented a like result by making all landholders, great and small, 
owe direct fealty to himself, and by widely scattering the estates of 
each tenant-in-chief.* 

Feudal Ceremonies.— jB<?m«5'e, Fealty, Investiture. — When a 
vassal received a fief, he did homage therefor on bended knee, ungirt 
and bareheaded, placing his joined hands in those of his lord, and 
promising to become " his man " from that day forth. The vassal was 
bound, among his other obligations, always to defend his lord's good 
name, to give him his horse if dismounted in battle, to be his hostage 
if he were taken prisoner, and to pay him specified sums of money 
(aids) on particular occasions — such as the marriage of the lord's eldest 
daughter, or the knighting of the lord's eldest son. 

Fealty did not include the obligation to become the lord's man, nor 
to pledge everything for his ransom ; it was sworn by tenants for life, 
while Homage was restricted to those who could bequeath their estates. 
Investiture was the placing in possession of an estate, either actually 
or symbolically, as by delivering a stone, turf, or branch. 

The Castle has been called the symbol of feudalism. A strong, 
stone fortress, crowning some high, jagged cliff or beetling promontory, 
enclosed by massive, parapeted walls, girdled by moats and bristling 
with towers, it may well be likened to a haughty feudal lord. Bold 
and stout-hearted must have been the foe that ventured its assault. 

* Compare with the policy of Cleisthenes, in Athens, p. 1^4.— The distinction 
between feudal obligations in these two countries may be illustrated thus : Let A be 
the sovereign, B the tenant- in-chief, and C the under-tenant. In France, if B warred 
with A, C was bound to aid, not A, but B ; while in England, C was required to aid 
A against B. 



There were sometimes, as at Montlheri in France, five enclosures 
to pass before the donjon keep was reached. Over this great tower 
floated the banner of its lord, and within its stone-walls, often ten feet 
thick, were stored his choicest treasures. Its entrance door, set high 
up in the wall, was guarded by a solid, narrow, outer stair case, a 
drawbridjre, and a portcullis; its near approach was protected by 
mounted battlements and a machicolated parapet. Intrenched in one 
of these grim strongholds a baron could, and often did, defy tlie king 


himself. The Crusades broke the strength of early Feudalism and 

Chivalry, which, as an institution, attained its height in the 14th 
century: In it were combined the old Germanic pride in prowess and re- 
spect for woman ; the recent religious fervor ; a growing love for splen- 
dor, poetry, and music ; an exclusive, aristocratic spirit ; and a hitherto 
disregarded sentiment of duty toward the weak and the oppressed. Its 
chief exponent was 

The Knight, who, at his best, was the embodiment of valor, 
honor, gallantry, and munificence. Brave, truthful and generous in 
character; high-bred and courteous in manner; strong, athletic, and 



graceful in person ; now glittering in polished steel and fiercely batter- 
ing the walls of Jerusalem ; now clad in silken jupon and tilting with 
ribboned lance at the gorgeous tournament ; always associated with 
the sound of martial music, the jingle of armor and the clashing of 
swords, or with the rustle of quaintly-robed ladies in castle halls — the 
ideal chevalier rides through the middle ages, the central hero of all 
its romance. We see him first, a lad of seven years, joining a group 
of high-born pages and damsels who cluster about a fair lady in a 
stately castle. Here he studies music, chess, and knightly courtesies, 
and commits to memory his Latin Code of Manners. He carries his 
lady's messages, sends and re- 
calls her falcon in the chase, 
and imitates the gallantry he 
Bees about him. When a pil- 
grim-harper with fresh tidings 
from the Holy Land knocks at 
the castle gate, and sits down 
by the blazing fire in the great 
pillared hall, hung with ar- 
mor, banners, and emblazoned 
standards, or is summoned to 
a cushion on the floor of my 
lady's chamber, the little page's 
heart swells with emulous de- 
sire as he hears of the marvel- 
lous exploits of the Knights of 
the Holy Grail, or listens to the 
stirring Song of Roland. At 
fourteen he is made squire, and 
assigned to some office about 
the castle — the most menial 
duty being an honor in the 
knightly apprenticeship. His physical, moral, and military education 
becomes more rigid. Seated on his horse, he learns to manage arms, 
scale walls, and leap ditches. He leads the war-ateed of his lord to 
battle or the tournament, and " rivets with a sigh the armor he is for- 
bidden to wear." At twenty-one his probation is ended. Fasting, 
ablution, confession, communion, and a night in prayer at the altar, 
precede the final ceremony. He takes the vow to defend the faith, to 
protect the weak, to honor womankind ; his belt is slung around him ; 
his golden spurs are buckled on ; he kneels ; receives the accolade,* 


* This was e, blow on the neck of the candidate with the flat of a sword, given by 
the conferring prince, who, at the same time, pronounced the words: "I dub theo 
knight, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost." 


and rises a chevalier. His horse is led to the church door, and, amid 
the shouts of the crowd and the peal of trumpets, he rides away into 
the wide world to seek the glory he hopes to win. — Not many knights, 
it is true, were like Godfrey and Bayard. The very virtues of chivalry 
often degenerated into vices ; but any approach to courtesy in this vio- 
lent age was a great advance upon its general lawlessness.* 

The Tournament was to the mediaeval knight what public games 
had been to the Greek and the gladiatorial contest to the Roman. 
Every device was used to produce a gorgeous spectacle. The painted 
and gilded lists were hung with tapestries, and were overlooked by 
towers and galleries, decorated with hangings, pennants, shields, and 
banners. Here, dressed in their richest robes, were gathered kings, 
queens, princes, knights, and ladies. Kings-at-arms, heralds, and pour- 
Buivants-at-arms — the reporters of the occasion — stood within or just 
without the arena ; musicians were posted in separate stands ; and 
valets and sergeants were stationed everywhere, to keep order, to pick 
up and replace broken weapons, and to raise unhorsed knights. At the 
sound of the clarions the competing chevaliers, arrayed in full armor 
and seated on magnificently-caparisoned horses, with great jJumes 
nodding above their helmets and ladies' ribbons floating from their 
lances, rode slowly and solemnly into the lists, followed by their several 
esquires, all gaily dressed and mounted. Sometimes the combatants 
were preceded by their chosen ladies, who led them in by gold or silver 
chains. When all was ready the heralds cried, " Laissez-les alter" (let 
them go), the trumpets pealed, and from the opx)Osite ends of the arena 
the knights dashed at full speed to meet with a clash in the center. 
Shouts of cheer from the heralds, loud flourishes from the musicians, 
and bursts of applause from thousands of lookers on, rewarded every 
brilliant feat of arms or horsemanship. And when the conquering 
knight bent to receive the prize from the hand of some fair lady, the 
whole air trembled with the cries of " honor to the brave," and " glory 
to the victor." But tournaments were not all joyous play. Almost 
always, some were carried dead or dying from the lists, and in a single 
German tourney sixty knights were killed. 

Arms, Armor, and Military Engines. — Mail armor was 
composed of metal rings sewed upon cloth or linked together in the 
shape of garments. Afterward, metal plates and caps were intermixed 

* The knight who had been accused and convicted of cowardice and falsehood, 
incurred a fearful degradation. Placed astride a beam, on a public scaffold, under 
the eyes of assembled knights and ladies, he was stripped of his armor, which was 
broken to pieces before his eyes and thrown at his feet. His spurs were cast into the 
filth, his shield was fastened to the croup of a cart-horse and dragged in the dust, 
and his charger's tail was cut off. He was then carried on a litter to the church, the 
burial service was read over him, and he was published to the world as a dead coward 
and traitor. 


with it, and in the 15th century a complete suit of plate armor was 
worn. This consisted of several pieces of highly-tempered and polished 
steel, so fitted, jointed and overlapped as to protect the whole body. 
It was fastened on to the kniglit with hammer and pincers, so he could 
neither get in nor out of it alone, and it was so cumbrous and unwieldy 
that, once down, he could not rise again. Thus he was " a castle of 
steel on his war-horse, a helpless log when overthrown." Boiled 
leather was sometimes used in place of metal. Common soldiers wore 
leather or quilted jackets, and an iron scull-cap.- 

The long-bow was to the middle ages what the rifle is to our day. 
The English excelled in its use, and their enemies sometimes left their 
walls unmanned because, as was said, " no one could peep but he would 
have an arrow in his eye before he could shut it." The Genoese were 
famous cross-bow men. The bolts of brass and iron sent from their huge 
cross-bows would pass through the head-piece of a man-at-arms and 
pierce his brain. Many of the military arts and defences used from the 
earliest times were still in vogue, and so remained until gunpowder 
was Invented. Indeed, a mediaeval picture of a siege does not strikingly 
differ from Ninevite sculptures or Theban paintings, either in the nature 
of its war-engines or in the perspective art of the drawing itself. 

Education and Literature.— During the 11th and 12th cen- 
turies, schools and seminaries of learning were multiplied and began to 
expand into universities, that of Paris, the " City of Letters," taking 
the lead. Now, also, arose the Scholafitic Philosophy, which applied the 
logic of Aristotle to intricate problems in theology. The Schoolmen 
began with Peter Lombard (d. 1160 \ a professor in the University of 
Paris, where he had studied under the brilliant Abelard — an eloquent 
lecturer, now remembered chiefly as the lover of Heloise. Lombard 
has been styled the " Euclid of Scholasticism." Another noted school- 
man was Albertus Magnus, a German of immense learning, whose 
scientific researches brought upon him the reputation of a sorcerer. The 
doctrines of Thomas Aquinas, a Dominican Monk, and of Duns Scotus, 
a Franciscan, divided the schools, and the reasonings and counter- 
reasonings of Thomists and Scotists filled countless pages with logical 
subtleties. The vast tomes of Scholastic theology left by the 13th cen- 
tury schoolmen "amaze and appal the mind with the enormous accu- 
mulation of intellectual industry, ingenuity, and toil, of which the sole 
result to posterity is this barren amazement." Roger Bacon was at this 
time startling the age by his wonderful discoveries in science. Ac- 
cused, like Albert the Great, of dealing with magic, he paid the pen- 
alty of his advanced views by ten years in prison. 

While in monastery and university the schoolmen racked their brains 
with subtle and profound distinctions, the gay French Troubadours, 
equipped with their ribboned guitars, were flitting from castle to castle, 



where tlie gates were always open to tliem and their flattering rhymes. 

The Trowoeres supplied the age with allegories, comic tales, and long 

romances, while the German Minnesclnger (love-singers) numbered 

kings and princes among their poets. 

In Scandinavia, the mythological poems 
or sagas of the 8th — 10th centuries were 
collected into what is called the older Edda 
(11th or 12th cent.); and afterward ap- 
peared the younger Edda — whose legends 
linked the Norse race with the Trojan 
heroes (p. 115). The German Nibelungen- 
lied (12th cent.) was a collection of the 
same ancestral legends woven into a grand 
epic by an unknown poet. 

To the 13th and 14th centuries, respec- 
tively, belong the great poets Dante and 
Chaucer. About this time a strong desire 
for learning was felt among the common 
people, it being for them the only road to 
distinction. The children of burghers and 
artisans, whose education began in the 
little public school attached to the parish- 
church, rose to be lawyers, priests, and 
statesmen. The nobility, generally, cared 
little for scholarship. A gentleman could 
always employ a secretary, and the glory 
won in a crusade or a successful tilt in a 
tournament was worth more to a mediaeval 
knight than the book lore of ages. Every 
monastery had a *' writing-room," where 
the younger monks were employed in tran- 
scribing manuscripts. After awhile, copy- 
ing became a trade, the average price being 
about four cents a leaf for prose, and two 
for verse — the page containing thirty lines. 
Adding price of paper, a book of prose cost 
not far from fifty cents a leaf. 

Arts and Architecture.— As learn- 

(Thirteenth & Four- 
teenth Centuries.) 

* The style, or stylus, was the chief instrument of writing during the Middle Ages. 
With the pointed end the letters were cut on the waxen tablet, while the rounded 
head was used in making erasures. If the writing was to be preserved, it was after- 
ward copied by a scribe on parchment or vellum, with a rude reed pen, which was 
dipped in a colored liquid. The style was sometimes made of bone or ivory, some- 
times of glass or iron, while those used by persons of rank were made of gold or 
silver, and were often ornamented with curious figures. 


ing was confined mostly to tlie clmrch, art naturally found its chief 
expression in cathedral building. Toward the close of the 13th cen- 
tury, the round-arched, Romanesqae style gave place to the pointed- 
arched, spired, and buttressed edifice. The use of painted glass for 
windows crowned the glory of the Gothic cathedral.* Religious ideas 
were expressed in designs and carvings. Thus the great size and lofti- 
ness of the interior symbolized the Divine Majesty; the high and 
pointed towers represented faith and hope ; and, as the rose was made 
to signify human life, everywhere on windows, doors, arches, and 
columns, the cross sprang out of a rose. So, too, the altar was placed 
at the East, whence the Saviour came, and was raised three steps, to 
indicate the Trinity. These mighty structures were the work often of 


centuries. The Cologne Cathedral was begun in 1248 ; its chancel was 
finished in 1320 ; but the lofty spire was not completed till our own 

The Guilds and Corporations of the Middle Ages were a great 
power, rivalling the influence of the nobles and frequently controlling 
the municipal government. 

Manners and OwB^iOxn.^,— Extravagance in dress, equipage, and 
table marked all high life. Only the finest cloths, linens, silks and 
velvets, adorned with gold, pearls, and embroidery, satisfied the tastes 
of the nobility." \ In the midst of the Hundred-Years War England 

* The Italians relied more on brilliant frescoes and Mosaics for interior effect ; 
the French and English cathedrals excelled in painted glass. " Nothing which pre- 
ceded this invention," says Pergiisson, " can compare with the parti-colored glories 
of the windows of a perfect Gothic Cathedral, where the whole history of the Bible 
is written in the hnes of the rainbow by the earnest hand of faith ! " 

+ Men took the lead in fashion, and indulged in the most grotesque absurdities. 
At one time peaked shoes were in vogue, the points, two feet long, being shaped like 
a scorpion's tail or twisted like a corkscrew ; at another time the toes became so 
broad that the law finally limited the width to six inches. A fop of the 14th century 
is thus described by an old writer: "He wore long pointed shoes, fastened to his 
knees by gold and silver chains ; hose of one color on one leg and of another on the 
other ; short breeches which did not reach to the knee ; a coat one-half white, the 



and France carried on a rivalry of splendor and expense. Delicacies 
from Constantinople, Palestine, Phcenicia, Alexandria, and Babylon, 
were served at royal entertainments. The tables blazed with gold and 

silver plate, yet had -not the 

refinement of a fork, and 

fingers were thrust into the 

rich dishes or tore the greasy 

meats into bits. A knight 

and his lady often ate from 

the same plate, and soaked 

their crusts of bread in the 

same cup of soup. Men and 

women sat at table with their 

hats on, although it was the 

height of bad manners to 

keep on gloves during a visit, 

and a personal insult to take 

the hand of a friend in the 

street without first unglov- 

iug. Great households were 

kept up, and kings enter- 
tained as many as 10,000 per- 
sons daily at the royal board. 

The lower orders aped the 
higher, and Sumptuary Laws were made to protect the privileges of the 
nobility, not only in dress but also in food. 


(Eleventh and Twelfth Cen- 


(Eleventh and Twelfth Ci 

(Fifteenth Century.) 

Other blue or black ; a lonj; beard ; a silk hood buttoned under his chin, embroidered 
with quaint figures of animals and ornamented with gold, silver, and precious stones." 


Punishments were barbarous and severe. The gallows and the 
rack were ever at work. Chopping off of hands, putting out of eyes, 
and cutting off of ears, were common affairs. The most ingenious tor- 
tures were devised, and hanging was the mildest death allowed to 

Summary (see p. 315).— The Vth and Vlth centuries were charac- 
terized by the settlements of the Teutons in Roman territory. The 
Vllth century was marked by the rise of Mohammed and the spread 
of the Saracen empire. The Vlllth century saw the growth of the 
Prankish power, culminating in the empire of Charlemagne. The 
IXth century witnessed the welding of the Saxon sovereignties into 
England ; the breaking up of Charlemagne's empire into France, Ger- 
many, and Italy ; and the founding of Russia by the Normans. The 
Xth century brought RoUo into Normandy and Capet into his kingdom. 
The Xlth century was made memorable by the Norman Conquest of 
England; the overthrow of the Greek-Saracen rule in Southern Italy; 
and the War of the Investiture in Germany. The Xllth century saw 
the Crusades at their height, and the Italian republics in their glory. 
The Xlllth century was marked by feeble Crusades, and the granting 
or Magna Charta in England. The XlVth century witnessed the 100- 
Years War. The XVth century is memorable for the deliverance of 
France ; the Wars of the Roses ; the Conquest of Granada, with the 
rise of Spain ; the fall of Constantinople, and the discovery of America. 


Generai. njsTovtrr.—Eallam's Middle Ages.—Tutz and Amdd?8 Mediceval His- 
tory.— Schmitz's Middle Ages.— Freeman' s General Sketch of European History.— 
Finlay's History of the Byzantine Empire.— MilTnan's History of Latin Christianity.— 
Drapers Intellectual Development of Europe.— Creasy'' s Fifteen Decisive Battles.— 
Guizofs History of Civilization.— Menzies'^s History of Middle Ages.— The Beginning 
of the Middle Ages {Epochs of History Series).— Duruy's Histoire du Moyen Age- 
Freeman's Historical Geography of Europe (ifivaluable in tracing obscure geograph- 
ical changes).- Robertson^ 8 Charles V. {Introduction on Middle Ages).— Sullivan's His- 
torical Causes and Effects.— Dunham's Middle Ages.— Adams's Manual of Historical 
Literature {an excellent bibliographical guide).— Lacroix's Manners and Customs. 

Science and Literature, and Military and Religious Life., of the Middle Ages 

Macleafs Apostles of MeduzvaZ Europe.— Wright's Homes of the Middle Ages, and 
Womankind in Western Europe.— Kingsley's Roman and Teuton.— Baring- Gould's 
Curious Myths of the Middle Ages.— Cox and Jones's Romances of the Middle Ages.— 
OliphanVs Francis of Assisi.— George Eliot's Romola. 

The Crusades and Chw alky.— Cocc's Crusades.— Michaud:'s History of the Cru- 
sades. —Mackay's Popular Delusions, art. The Crusades.— Addison's History of the 
Knights Templar.— Tasso's Jerusalem Ddimred {poetry).— Chronicles of the Crusades 
{Bohn's Library).— Bell s Studies of Feudalism.— Chronicles of Froissart {unrivalled 
pictures of chivalry).— Scott's Ivanhoe, Talisman, and Anne of Geierstein.—Bulfnch's 
Age of Chivalry. 

England.— ^W7n«'«, Knight's. Green's, LingarcTs, Creasy' s, Keightley's, Cottier's^ 
and Gardiner's Histories of England.-Pearson's History of England, Early and mdr 



die Ages.— Freeman's History of the Norman Conquest.— Thompson's HisUrry of Eng- 
land {Freeman's Historical Course).— Thiem/s History of the Norman Conquest.— 
Palgrave's Normandy and England.— Cobb's History of tJie Norman kings of Eng- 
land.— Green's Making of England.— Fr€eman''s Old English Histm^y.— The Norman 
Kings and Feudal System ; the Early Plantagenets ; Edward III. ; Houses of Lancas- 
ter and York {Epochs of History Series). — Smith's History of English Institutions 
{Historical Hand-book Series).— Burton's History of Scotland (the standard authority). 
—Strickland's Lives of the Queens of England.— Gj^een's Lives of the Princesses of 
England. — St. John^s Four Conquests of England.— Shakspere's King John {Ar- 
thur); aiso Henry IV. •> F., FZ, and Richard III.—Bulwer's Last of tlie Barons.— 
Kingsley's Hereward, the Last of the Saxons.— The " Babee's Book.''"' 

France.— Godwin's {Vol. /.), White's, Smith's, Sism^ndVs, MicheleVs, Bonne- 
chose's, Markham's, Crowe's, Kitchin's, Tonge's, and Edwards's Histories of France. 
—Barnes's Brief History of France.— Thierry's History of the Gauls.— Guizot's Pop- 
ular History of France.— MartirCs Histoire de France. — Duruy's Histoire de France. — 
Byron's Childe Harold {Morat).— James's Philip Augustus, Mary of Burgundy, and 
Jacquerie {fiction).— Southey's Joan of Arc {poetry).— Harnet Parr's Joan of Arc- 
Scott's Quendn Du7'ward {fiction).— Jamison's Bertrand du Guesclin,— Kirk's Life 
of Charles the Bold.— Memoirs of Philippe de Comines.—Buiwer Lyttons translation 
of the Poem of Jtou{Bollo).—BulfincKs Legends of Charlemagne.— James's Life of 
Charlemagne.— Scott's Marmion, Canto 6, Stanza 33 {Poland). 

Gebmant.— Taylor's, Lewis's, MenzeVs, and Kohlrausch's Histories of Germany. — 
Bryce's Holy Roman Empire.— Sim^' s History of Germany {Freeman's Course).— 
Coxe's House qf Austria.— Raumer's History of the Hohenstauf en.— Kington's lAfe of 
Frederick Il.—Peake's History of the German Emperors.— Abbott' s Empire of Aus- 
tria.— Schiller's Drama of William Tell.— Scott's Ballad of the Battle of Sempach. 

StAiN, Italt, Turkey, Btc.— Hunt's Italy (Freeman's Course).— Lying's Ma- 
homst and his Successors, and Conquest of Granada.— Sismondi's History of Italian 
Republics.- Campbeir 8 Life of Petrarch.— Longfellow's Dante.— Roscoe's Life of 
Lorenzo de' Medici.— Prescott's History of Ferdinand and Isabella.— ViUari's Life of 
Savonarola.- Grimm's Life of Michael Angelo.— Ockley's History of the Saracens.— 
Symonds's Renaissance in Italy.— Taine's Art in Italy.— Creasy' s History of the Otto- 
man Turks.— Freeman's History and Conquests of the Saracens.-Lytton's Siege of 
Granada (fiction). 


FIFTH CENTURY (Concluded). 

(See Anc. Peo., p. 312.) 

A. D. 

Attila defeated in battle of ChSlons. 451 

Clovis wins battle of Soissons 48'J 

Theodoric with the Ostrogoths con- 
quers Italy 489-493 

Clovis becomes a Christian 496 


Paris, Clovis's capital 510 

Arthur in Britain (conjectured) 515 

Time of Justinian 527-65 

Belisarius in Africa, 533 ; in Italy. .536-9 
Silk Manufacture brought to Europe 551 
End of Ostrogoth Kingdom in Italy. 553 
Lombards conquer Italy 568 

A. D. 

Birth of Mohammed 570 

St. Augustine introduces Christian- 
ity into Britain 596 


The Hegira 622 

Mohammed's Death 632 

Omar captures Jerusalem 637 

Sixth General Council, at Constan- 
tinople 680 


Saracens invade Spain 711 

Martel overthrows Saracens at 
Tours 732 



A. D. 

Pepin the Short 1)60011168 king.— 

Carlo vingian Dynasty founded. .. 752 

Gift of Exarchate to Pope 7&4 

Emirate of Cordova founded 755 

Charlemagne becomes sole king of 

the Franks 771 

Battle of Roncesvalles 778 

Haroun al Raschid caliph 786 

Seventh General Council, at Nice.. 787 

Danes first land in Britain, about ... 789 

Cliariemague crowned at Rome 800 


Death of Charlemagne 814 

Egbert, first king of England 827 

Battle of Fontenay 841 

Treaty of Verdun 843 

Russia founded by Ruric 862 

Alfred king of England 871-901 


Alfred's Death 901 

Rollo the Norseman founds Nor- 
mandy 911 

Otto the Great, Emperor of Ger- 
many 93&-73 

Hugh Capet crowned ; founds Cape- 
tian Dynasty 987 


Canute (Knut) king of England. . .1017-35 

Normans conquer South Italy 1040 

Edward the Confessor restores Sax- 
on Line in England 1042 

Guelf and Ghibelline Feud begins. . 1061 

Normans conquer England 1006 

Turks capture Jerusalem 1076 

First Crusade 1096 


Guiscard of Normandy, king of 

Naples 1102 

Knights Templar founded 1118 

Second Crusade 1117 

Plantagenet Line founded 1154 

Henry II. invades Ireland 1171 

Third Crusade 1189 


Fourth Crusade 1202 

War against Albigenses 1208 

A. D. 

Battle of Runnymede.— John grants 

Magna Charta. 1215 

Fifth Crusade 1218 

Sixth Crusade 1228 

Genghis Khan.— Gregory IX. estab- 
lishes Inquisition 1233 

Seventh Crusade ... 1249 

Monguls sack Bagdad 1258 

Eighth Crusade 1270 

Hapsburg Line founded 1273 

Teutonic Order conquers Prussia. . . 1281 

Edward I. conquers Wales 1283 

Turks capture Acre.— End of Cru- 
sades 1291 

Edward conquers Scotland 1296 


Pope removes to Avignon 1305 

Wallace executed 1305 

Battle of Bannockburn 1314 

Battle of Morgarten 1315 

Hundred-Years War 1328-1453 

Battle of Crecy 1346 

Calais surrendered 1347 

Rienzi, tribune of Rome 1347 

Battle of Poitiers 1356 

Pope returns to Rome 1377 

Wat Tyler's Insurrection 1381 

Battle of Sempach 1386 


John Huss burned 1415 

Battle of Azincourt 1415 

Jeanne Dare at Orleans 1428 

Charles VII. crowned at Rheiras. . . 1429 

Jeanne Dare burned 1431 

Capture of Constantinople 1453 

Wars of the Roses 1455-85 

Gutenberg prints the first book 1456 

Battles of Granson, Morat, and Nan- 
cy (Death of Charles the Bold). . .1476-7 

Lorenzo de' Medici at FlorenQe 1478 

Union of Castile and Aragon under 

Ferdinand and Isabella. 1479 

Battle of Bosworth.— Tudor Line 

founded 1485 

Fall of Granada 1492 

Columbus discovers America 1492 

Charles VIII. invades Italy 1494 

Vasco da Gama doubles Cape of 

Good Hope , 1497 

Savonarola burned 1498 





William 1 1066 

William II 1087 

Henry 1 1100 

Stephen 1135 

Henry II 1154 

Richard 1 1189 

John 1199 

Henry m 1216 

Edward 1 1272 

Edward II 1307 

Edward III 1327 

Richard n 1377 

Henry IV 1399 

Henry V 1413 

Henry VI 1422 

Edward IV 1461 

Edward V 1483 

Richard m 1483 

Henry VII 1485 

Philip I 

.. 1060 

Louis VI 

Louis VII 

Philip n 

.. 1108 
.. 1137 

.. 1180 

Louis VIIl 

Louis IX 

.. 1223 
. 1226 

Philip III 


.. 1270 
. 1285 

Louis X 

. 1314 

Philip V 

Charles IV 

Philip VI 

. 1316 
. 1322 
. 1328 



Charles V 

Charles VI 

. 1364 
. 1380 

Charles VH 


Louis XI 

Charles VIH 

Louis XII 

. 1461 
. 1483 

. 1498 

Henry IV 1056 

Henry V 1106 

Lothaire H 1125 

Conradlll 1138 

Frederick Barbarossa 1152 

Henry VI 1190 

Philip 1197 

Otto IV 1209 

Frederick II 1215 

Conrad IV 1250 

Rudolf 1273 

Adolphus 1292 

Albert 1 1298 

Senry VH 1308 

Lewis IV 1314 

Frederick the Fair. . . 1314 

Charles IV 1347 

Wenceslaus 1378 

Rupert 1400 

Sigismund 1410 

Albert U 1438 

Frederick III 1440 

Maximilian I. 


Modern Peoples 


' Introduction, 

The 16th 

1. The Fbbnch in Italy. 

2. The Age or Chables V 

The Rise op the Dutch 



Re- J 2. 

The French 


5. England under the Tudors. 

Charles VIII. 

Louis XII. 

Francis I. 

The Rivalry of Charles and 

The Reformation. 

The Netherlands. 

The Reformation. 

The Duke of Alva. 
L 4. The Forty-Years War. 
r 1. The Reformation in France. 

2. Francis II. 

3. Charles IX. 

4. Henry HI. 

5. Henry IV. 

1. Henry VII. 

2. Henry VIII. 

3. Edward VI. 

4. Mary. 

5. Elizabeth. 

1. Causes. 

2. Opening of the War. 

3. Imperial Triumph. 

' 1. The Thirty- Years War. 

The 17th 
\ Century. 

-! 2. 

The 18th 

h. Leipsic. 
Gustavus J c. Wallensfein. 
Adolphus. I d. Liitzen. 
e. Death of 
t Gustavus. 

5. Remainder of War. 

6. Peace of Westphalia. 
(1. Age of Richelieu. 
) 2. Age of Louis XIV. 
f 1. James I. 

2. Charles I. 

3. The Civil War. 
I 4. The Commonwealth. 
-( 5. The Restoration. Charles II. 

6. James II. 

7. Revolution of 1688. William 
and Mary. 

8. Anne. 
Petee the Gbeat and Charles XJI. 

Rise of Pbussia: Age of Fbedebick the Gbeat. 
1. George I. 

The Absolute Monarchy in 

England undee the Stuaets 
Pebiod op the Civil Wae. 

England undee the House op 

4. The French Revolution. 


The 19th 

1. France. 






The Netherlands. 


2. George II. 

3. George III. 

4. See 19th Century. 

1. Louis XV. 

2. Louis XVI. 

f a. Abolition of 

3. French | Monarchy. 
Rev- J b. E'gn of Terror. 

I c. Directory. 
d. Consulate. 
i. e. Empire. 
—(See Analysis of 18th Cent.) 

1. The Restoration. 

2. The Second Republic. 

3. The Second Empire. 

4. The Third Republic. 

[The subdivisions of these 
general topics may be filled in 
from the titles of the para- 

traphs in the text, as the stu- 
ent proceeds.] 




The end of the 15th and the beginning of the 16th 
century formed the springtime of a new era. It was an 
epoch of important events: In 1491, Charles VIII. married 
Anne of Brittany, which united to the French crown the last 
of the great feudal provinces ; in 1492, Granada fell into the 
hands of Ferdinand and Isabella, a conquest which established 
the Spanish monarchy ; in the same year^ Columbus discoy- 


ered America, which began a great commercial revolution ; 
in 1494, the Italian Wars commenced, and with them the 
battles and rivalries of the chief European nations; in 1508, 
Eaphael and Michael Angelo were painting in the Vatican at 
Rome, which marked a revolution in art ; in 1517, Luther 
posted his 95 theses on the Wittenberg cathedral door, and 
so inaugurated the Reformation ; in 1521, Magellan circum- 
navigated the globe, thus giving correct geographical ideas ; 
finally, about 1530, Copernicus finished his theory of the solar 
system, which was the beginning of a new epoch in science. 

The causes of this wonderful change were numerous. 
The Crusades kindled a spirit of trade, adventure, and con- 
quest. Travel at the East enlarged the general knowledge 
of the earth. The use of the mariner's compass emboldened 
sailors to undertake long voyages. Large cities had risen to 
be centers of freedom, commerce, manufactures, and wealth. 
The Revival of Learning in Italy stirred men's thoughts in 
every land. The fall of Constantinople scattered the treas- 
ures of Greek literature over the West; learned men, driven 
from the East, settled in Europe ; the philosophy and arts of 
Athens and Rome were studied with zest ; each nation felt, 
in turn, the impulse of the Renaissance in art; and a succes- 
sion of painters, sculptors, poets, and historians arose such as 
Christendom had never seen. There were now nearly forty 
universities in Europe, and students traveling to and fro 
among them distributed the new ideas, which gradually 
trickled down into the minds of the masses. Above all else, 
two inventions revolutionized Europe. 

Gu7ipowder * pierced the heaviest armor, and shattered the 

* Gunpowder seems to have been known to the Chinese at an early day, though 
Roger Bacon, an English monk of the 13th century, is called its inventor. Its appli- 
cation to war is ascribed to a German named Schwartz (1330), but, long before that, 
the Moors used artillery in the defence of Cordova. The English at Cr^cy had three 
small cannon. The French under Louis XI. invented trunnions, a light carriage, and 

15th cent.] 

I N T R I) U C T I IS^ 


strongest wall. The foot-soldier with his musket could put 
to flight the knight-errant with his lance. Standing armies 
of infantry and artillery took the place of the feudal levy. 
This changed the whole art of war. The king was now 
stronger than the noble. 


Printing by means of movable types was invented by 
Gu'tenberg of Mentz, who issued in 1456 a Latin Bible. 
Books, which had hitherto been laboriously copied on parch- 
ment, were now rapidly multiplied, and the cost was greatly 
reduced. Cheaper books made new readers. Knowledge 
became more widely diffused. 

The political condition of Europe was that of great 

cast-iron shot, thus equipping a weapon serviceable in the field. Charles VIII. owed 
his rapid conquest of Italy to his park of light artillery that was in striking contrast 
to the cumbersome Italian bombards dragged about with great difficulty by oxen and 
firing stone balls. 

426 MOBERK PEOPLES. [15th cent. 

monarchies, each ready to turn its forces against the others. 
The so-called "States-System" now arose. Its object was 
the preservation of the Balance of Power, i. e., the preventing 
any state from getting a superiority over the rest. Thence 
came alliances and counter-alliances among the different 
nations, and various schemes of diplomacy that often bewil- 
der the student of modern history. 

Maritime Discoveries. — Up to this time, the known 
world comprised only Europe, southwestern Asia, and a 
strip of northern Africa. The rich products of the East 
were still brought to the West by way of Alexandria and 
Venice. Cape Non, on the coast of Africa, by its very name 
declared the belief that there was nothing attainable beyond. 
The sea at the equator was thought to be boihng hot, and 
the maps represented the^Occident as bristling with monsters. 

The Portuguese sailors, under the auspices of Prince 
John, and King John IT., ventured each voyage further 
southward, crossed the dreaded equator, and, sailing under 
the brighter stars of a new hemisphere, step by step explored 
the African coast, until finally Diaz (1487) doubled the con- 
tinent. The southern point he well named the Cape of 
Storms; but King John, seeing now a way to reach India 
by sea, rechristened it the Cape of Good Hope. Eleven years 
later, Vasco da Gama realized this sanguine expectation. He 
rounded the cape, sailed across the Indian Ocean, landed on 
the Malabar coast, and returned home with a cargo of Indian 
products. The old routes across the Mediterranean, through 
Egypt and the Levant, were now nearly abandoned. The 
Portuguese soon made a settlement on the Malabar coast. 
Their commercial establishments, shipping by sea directly 
to Europe, quickly gathered up the Eastern trade. Lisbon, 
instead of Venice, became the great dep6t of Indian pro- 




irry. iS27 

France f '~\ i Netherlands I I 




CooTc i7j^ 


WILKE1UAND ^-^ '"VictoVl*. f 


I N T K O D U C T I :N . 


(From a drawing attributed to Columbus.) 

Cohimlus, meanwhile, in- 
spired by the same hope of ^^ 
finding a sea-route to India, 
and believing the earth to be 
round, sailed westward. He 
reached, not India, as he sup- 
posed, but a new world. On 
his third voyage, the very 
year that Da Gama solved the 
problem, Columbus first saw 
the coast of South America. 

Adventurers of many na- 
tions eagerly flocked through 
the door Columbus had 
thrown open. The names 
of Vespucci, Balboa, Cartier, 

Ponce De Leon, and De Soto are familiar to every student of 
American history. The Cabots, sailing under the English 
flag, explored the coast of the new world from Labrador to 
Chesapeake Bay. Cabral, a Portuguese navigator, in 1500, 
took possession of Brazil in the name of his king. Finally, 
Magellan passed through the strait still known by his name, 
and crossed the Pacific to the Philippine Islands; there he 
was killed by the savage natives, but one of his ships, con- 
tinuing the voyage, circumnavigated the globe (1521). 

Mesico, when discovered by the Spaniards, had reached, 
under the Montezumas — its Aztec rulers, a considerable 
degree of civilization. Its laws were written in hiero- 
glyphics ; its judges were chosen for life ; its army was fur- 
nished with music, hospitals, and surgeons ; its calendar 
was mare accurate than the Spanish ; its people were skilled 
in agriculture and the arts; and its capital, Mexico, was sup- 
plied with aqueducts, and adorned with palaces and temples. 

428 MODERN^ PEOPLES. [1519-'21. 

The Aztecs, however, were idolaters and cannibals ; and their 
civilization was ignorant of horse, ox, plough, printing, and 

Cortes, with a little army of 600 Spaniards, fearlessly 
invaded this powerful empire. His cannon and cavalry car- 
ried terror to the simple-minded natives. A war of three 
years, crowded with romance as with cruelty, completed the 
conquest. Mexico remained a province of Spain until 1821. 

Peru, under the Incas, was perhaps richer and more power- 
ful than Mexico. Two great military roads extended the 
entire length of the empire, and along them the public 
couriers carried the news 200 miles per day. A vast system 
of water-works, more extensive than that of 'Egypt, irrigated 
the rainless regions, and agriculture had attained a high 
degree of perfection. The government was paternal, the 
land being owned by the Inca, and a portion assigned to 
each person to cultivate. Royal officers directed the indus- 
try of this great family in tillage, weaving, etc., and, thpugh 
no one could rise above his station, it was the boast of the 
country that every one had work, and enjoyed the comforts 
of life. 

Pizarro, an unprincipled Spanish adventurer, overthrew 
this rich empire (1533), and imprisoned the Inca. The 
unfortunate captive offered, for his ransom, to fill his cell 
with gold vessels, as high as he could reach ; but, after he 
had collected over 115,000,000 worth, he was strangled by 
his perfidious jailers. 

The Spanish Colonies i-arely prospered. In Mexico, Cortes 
sought to rule wisely. He sent home for priests and learned men ; 
founded schools and colleges ; and introduced European plants and 
animals. But, on his return to Spain, he became, like Columbus, a 
victim of ingratitude, though he had given to the Emperor Charles V. 
**more states than Charles had inherited cities." 

In general, the Spanish governors destroyed the native civilization, 



without introducing the European. The thirst for gold was the princi- 
pal motive that drew men to the new world. The natives were portioned 
among the conquerors, and doomed to work in the mines. It is said 
that four-fifths of the Peruvians perished in this cruel bondage. The 
kind-hearted Las Casas, the apostle of the Indians, spent his life in 
vainly seeking to alleviate their miseries, convert them to Christianity, 
and obtain for them governmental protection. To supply the fearful 
waste of the population, negroes were brought from Africa, and so 
slavery and the slave-trade were established. The Spaniards turned to 
agriculture only when gold-hunting ceased to pay ; and, not being a 
trading people, their colonial commerce fell chiefly into the hands of 
foreigners. For a time, however, the Spanish coflFers were running 
over with American gold and silver. 


Heereii's Manual. -Dijefs History of Modern Europe.— Heeren^s Historical Trea- 
tises.— Yonge's Three Centuries of Modern History. Arnold's Lectures on Modern 
History. — Thallieimer'' s Manual of Modern History —MicheleVs Modern History. - 
Duruy's Histoire des Temps Modernes.— Irving' s Life of Columbus.— Parkman' s Pio- 
neers of France.— Help's Spanish Conguest of America.— PrescotVs Ferdinand and 
Isabella {Columbus).— Wallace's Fair Ood iflction).— Barnes's Brief Hist, of the U. S. 
—Barnes's Popidar Hist, of tlie U. S.—Squier's Ancient Peru, Harper's Mag., Vol. 7.- 
Abbott's Cortez, Harper s Mag.. Vol. 12.— Abbott's Columbus, Harper's Mag.. Vol. 38. 
—Higginson's Spanish Discoveries, Harper's Mag. Vol.65.—Eggleston's Beginning 
of a Nation, Centuiy Magazine, Vol. 35.— Fitzgerald's Kings of Europe and their 
families (excellent for genealogy). 

1 . iid' SCdbimuc 






The Invasion of Italy (1494) by the French may be con- 
sidered the opening event of modern history. Its progress, 
by the many leagues that were formed, illustrates the growth 
of the new States-System. 

Charles VIII. (1483-'98), filled with dreams of rivaling 
Alexander and Charlemagne, resolved to assert the claim of 
his house to the kingdom of Naples.* Milan, Florence, and 
Eome opened their gates to his powerful army. He entered 
Kaples amid the acclamations of the populace. This bril- 
liant success turned the head of the weak king, and he gave 
himself up to feasts and tournaments. Meanwhile, the first 
extended league in modern history was formed by Milan, 
Venice, the pope, Maximilian of Germany, and Ferdinand of 
Spain, to expel the invader. Charles retreated as hastily as 
he had come, and by the victory of Fornova secured his 
escape into France. 

Louis XII. (1498-1515), inheriting the schemes of Charles 

Geographical Quesfiong .—Locate Naples. Milan. Fornova. "Venice. Pavia. 
Marignano. Genoa. Vienna. Wittenberg. Augsburg. Smalcald. Nuremburg. 
Innspruck. Passau. Trent. Guinegate. Calais. Toul. Verdun, Rouen. Crespy. 
Passy. Ivry. Nantes. Antwerp. Leyden. Amsterdam. Harlem. Ghent. Edin- 
burgh. Flodden. Plymouth. Point out the ten provinces of the Southern or Spanish 
Netherlands ; the seven of Northern or United Netherlands ;. the limits of the Spanish ^ 
Empire in the 16th century. 

* The dukes of Anjou, a branch of the house of France (page 355), having been 
expelled 'from Italy, became established in the petty principality of Provence. After 
the death of Ren6, who, according to Shakspere, bore 

" The style of king of Naples, 
Of both the Sicilies and Jerusalem, 
Yet not so wealthy as an English yeoman," 

the province and the claim of the house fell to Louis XI. (Brief France, p. 106.) 




J V^)-rT^,.F R L ^ 


^-eg^o'iflfe?^ I '^s\n Marino 
8ie*nk.^56rLt '^ 

^ r 

To Arragon i325 part' 
„ „ ii2S whole 
To Savoy 1720 





,0 UtiGtna 

To German Empire aoi y^^o j. 
To Anjou France i2GG 
To Arragon isss 





VIII. and also a claim to Milan, led the second expedition 
across the Alps. Milan quickly fell into his hands. • An 
arrangement was then made with Ferdinand to di\ide Naples 
between them ; but the conquerors quarreled over the spoil, 
and the French army, in spite of the heroism of the Chevalier 
Bayard, was beaten back from Naples by the Spanish infantry 
under the ^^ Great Captain" Gonsalvo. 




Three Leagues. — Louis next joined the League of Cambrai 
(Ferdinand, Maximilian, and Pope Julius II.) against Venice. 
Just as the fall of that republic seemed at hand, jealousies 
arose among the confederates. Pope Julius suddenly turned 
the scale by forming the Holy League (Ferdinand, Maxi- 
milian, Venice, and the Swiss), which drove the French out 
of Italy. But Louis, now allied with Venice, again descended 
upon Milan. The League ofMalines (Ferdinand, Maximilian, 
Henry VIIL, and Leo X. ) stayed his steps anew. Henry VIII. 
inyaded France, and at Guinegate the French cavalry fled 
so fast before him that the victory is known as the Battle 
of the Spurs. Louis, beaten on all sides, was glad to make 
Francis I. (1515-47), also lured by the deceitful lustre 

of Italian conquest, be- 
gan his reign by pour- 
ing his troops over the 
Alps, through paths 
known only to the 
chamois-hunter. The 
Swiss mercenaries 
guarding the passes 
were taken by surprise, 
and finally beaten in 
the bloody battle of 
Marignano (1515). 
The French were in- 
toxicated with joy. 
Francis was dubbed a 
knight on the field by 
the Chevalier Bayard. Milan fell without a blow. The 
Swiss made with France a treaty known as the Perpetual 
Peace, since it lasted as long as the old French monarchy. 





Spain was now the leading power in Europe. Ferdinand 
ruled Spain, Sardinia, Sicily, Naples, and vast regions in 
the New World — the gift of Columbus to the Castilian 
crown ; while his daughter Joanna was married to Philip, 
son of Maximilian of Austria and of Mary, daughter of 
Charles the Bold. When Charles, son of Philip, on the 
death of his grandfather, Ferdinand, succeeded to the 
crown of Spain, he added the Low Countries to its pos- 
sessions ; and, on the death of his other grandfather, Maxi- 
milian, he inherited the sovereignty of Austria, and was 
elected Emperor of Germany (1519). It was the grandest 
empire Europe had seen since the days of Augustus, uniting, 
as it did, under one sceptre, the infantry of Spain, the 
looms of Flanders, and the gold of Peru. 

Charles's Rivalry with Francis. — Francis I. had been 
a candidate for the imperial crown, and his vanity was sorely 
hurt by Charles's success. Henceforth these two monarchs 
were bitter enemies. Their rivalry deluged Europe in blood. 

Field of the Cloth of Gold (1520).— Ere beginning hos- 
tilities, both kings sought to win the friendship of Henry 
VIII. Francis met that monarch near Calais. The mag- 
nificence displayed gave to the field its name. The two 
kings feasted and played together like school-boys.* Henry 
swore not to cut his beard until he should again visit his 
"good brother;" Francis made a like vow, and long beards 
became the latest French fashion. 

But Charles negotiated more quietly, and, while he flat- 
tered the bluff and good-natured Henry, won his all-power- 

* The three mightiest sovereigns of Europe in the first half of the 16th century- 
Henry Vin. of England, Charles V. of Spain, and Francis I. of France— all assumed 
their crowns before reaching their majority. 





f ul minister, Cardinal Wolsey, by hopes of the papacy. A 
league was soon after formed of the pope, the emperor, and 
the king of England against Francis. 

Battle of Pavia (1525). — Italy was again the principal 
battlefield. Francis, anxious to renew the glories of Marig- 
nano, led a magnificent army across the Alps, and besieged 
Pavia. There he was attacked by the imperialists under 
Bourbon.* At first, the French artillery swept all before it. 

* The duke of Bourbon was Constable of Prftnce. But having been neglected by 
the king and wronged by the queen-mother, he fled to the enemy for revenge, drove 
the French out of Italy, and invaded Provence. Francis forced the imperialists back, 
and followed them ac-oss the Alps, thus beginning the fatal campaign of Pavia. Dur- 
ing the French retreat, Chevalier Bayard was struck by a ball (1534). Bourbon coming 
up offered him words of cheer. The dying hero replied, " Think rather of yourself in 
arms against your king, your country, and your oath! " The universal horror felt in 
France at Bourbon's treachery shows the increased sanctity of the royal authority 
over feudal times, and the influence of the recent revival of classic literature which 
taught treason to one's country to be a crime of the blackest dye. The nobles who 
joined in the "League of the Public Good" with Charles the Bold against Louis XL 
were not considered traitors, yet that was little over half a century before. (Brief 
France, p. 115.) 

1526.] THE AGE OF CHAELES V. 435 

Francis, thinking the enemy about to flee, charged with his 
knights, but, coming before his guns, checked their fire. 
Thereupon the imperialists rallied, and a terrible hand- 
to-hand conflict ensued. The flower of the French nobles 
was cut down. The Swiss, forgetting their ancient valor, 
fled. Francis himself, hemmed in on all sides, wounded, 
unhorsed, and covered with blood and dust, at last yielded 
his sword. 

Treaty of Madrid. — The royal prisoner was carried to 
Madrid, and confined in the gloomy tower of the Alcazar. 
There, pining in captivity, he fell sick. The crafty emperor, 
fearing to lose the ransom, released him, on his agreeing to 
surrender Burgundy and his Italian claims, and give up his 
two sons as hostages. On the way home, Francis vapored 
much about Regulus, but quickly broke his promise, and 
signed a treaty with the pope, Henry, and the Venetians, to 
drive the imperialists out of Italy. 

Sack of Rome. — Charles now sent Bourbon into Italy. 
His men being unpaid and eager for plunder, he led them to 
Rome as the richest prize. Bourbon was shot as he was 
placing a ladder, but the infuriated soldiery quickly scaled 
the walls. Never had the Eternal City suffered from Goth 
or Vandal as she now did from the subjects of a Christian 
emperor.* The sack lasted for months. Finally, a plague 
carried off conquerors as well as inhabitants, and, of all 
Bourbon's host, scarcely 500 men survived to evacuate the 
city, on the approach of the French army of relief. 

Ladies' Peace (1529). — Ere long, however, the French 
met with their usual defeat in Italy; Andrea Doria, the 
famous Genoese patriot, going over to Charles, became admi- 

* When Charles learned that the pope was a prisoner he ordered his court into 
mourning and, with strange hypocrisy, directed prayers to be said for the release 
which he could have effected by a word. 


ral of the Spanish fleet ; and so Francis, anxious to recover 
his sons from the emperor, concluded a treaty. As it was 
negotiated by the king's mother and the emperor's auot, it 
is known in history as the Ladies' Peace. 

The Turks. — Meanwhile, Charles had found a new foe, 
and Francis, a singular ally. The Turks, under sultan Soly- 
man the Magnificent, using the cannon that breached the 
walls of Constantinople, had driven the Knights of St. John 
out of the isle of Rhodes ; * subdued Egypt ; devastated 
Hungary ; f and even appeared under the walls of Vienna 
(1529). Menaced thus, Charles, notwithstanding his Italian 
triumphs, was very willing to listen to the ladies when, as we 
have seen, they talked of peace. Soon after, however, Soly- 
man having made an alliance with Francis, who cared less 
for differences of faith than for revenge uj)on the emperor, 
raised a vast army, and, again wasting Hungary, threatened 
Vienna. The flower and strength of Germany rallied under 
Charles's banners and forced the infidel to an inglorious 

The emperor next sought to cripple the Turkish power by 
sea. Crossing the Mediterranean, he attacked Tunis which 
Barbarossa, the Algerine pirate in command of Solyman's 
fleet, had seized. In the midst of the desperate struggle 
that ensued, ten thousand Christian slaves, confined in the 

* The knights made a gallant defence, a single man with his arquebuse being said 
to have shot five hundred Turks. Thirty-two Turkish mines were destroyed, but 
finally one burst, throwing down a part of the city wall. The Grand Master, L'Isle 
Adam, rushed from the church where he was at prayer, only to find the Crescent 
already planted in the opening. He instantly dashed into the midst of the Turks, 
tore down -the standard, and, with his brave knights, drove them back. For thirty- 
four nights he slept in the breach. At last, sorely against his will, the Hospitallers 
agreed to surrender their stronghold. L'Isle Adam sailed away with the survivors. 
Charles gave hira the rocky island of Malta. There he established a well-nigh im- 
pregnable fortress for the i)enefit of distressed seamen of every nation. 

t The Hungarian king having been slain in the battle of Mokacs (1526), the crown 
ultimately fell to his brother-in-law, Ferdinand of Austria, afterward emperor. It 
Jias ever since been held by the archdukes of Austria (p. 385), 

1538] THE AGE OF CHARLES V. 437 

castle, broke their fetters, and turned its guns upon their 
masters. The city was carried by assault. The released cap- 
tives were sent home, to the joy of all Christendom. 

The pope finally mediated a truce between the rivals. 
Charles, while eii route to Flanders, visited Paris. Francis 
in an ecstasy of hospitality exclaimed to his late enemy : 
" Here we are united, my brother and I. We must have the 
same foes and the same friends. We will equip a fleet 
against the Turks, and Andrea Doria shall be the com- 
mander." Brave words all, but soon forgotten. 

The emperor, thinkiug to blunt the edge of the Turkish 
sabre by a second expedition against the African pirates, 
sailed to Algiers ; but his ships were destroyed by a storm, 
and his troops by a famine. Francis seized the opportunity 
and raised five great armies to attack Charles's wide-spread 
empire. Solyman invaded Hungary, and Barbarossa ravaged 
the coasts of Spain and Italy. Europe was amazed to see the 
lilies of France and the crescent of Mohammed appear before 
Nice, and Christian captives sold by the corsairs in the mar- 
ket of Marseilles. It seemed as if the days of Martel had 
returned, and there was again peril of a Mohammedan 
empire girding the Mediterranean ; only the infidels were 
now brutal Turks instead of refined Saracens. 

Treaty of Crespy (1544). — But this was not to be. 
Henry renewed his alliance with Charles, and they invaded 
France from opposite sides. Charles was beaten at Cerisolles, 
but Henry pushed to within two-days march of Paris. 
Already its citizens, panic-struck, had begun to move their 
valuables to Rouen, when Francis sued for peace. The 
Treaty of Crespy ended the wars of these monarchs that for 
nearly twenty-five years had been so fruitful of wrong and 



The Refonnation in Germany was the great event of the 
16th century. Nowhere else had the Revival of Learning 
caused such a general stir of thought. The abuses of the 
church had long been a source of sorrow to every sincere 
Christian. The bishops, little different from secular princes, 
were fond of show, and neglectful of their duties ; many of 
the clergy were idle, ignorant, and corrupt ; while the cleri- 
cal fees and tithes were exacted with the greatest strictness. 
The Councils of Constance and Bale had, in vain, attempted 
a reform. The revolt of the Albigenses so long before ; the 
old-time feuds between pope and emperor; the teachings of 
Wycliffe, Huss, Jerome, and Savonarola ; the sarcastic writ- 
ings of Erasmus ; and now the reading of the Bible itself, — 
all conspired to lead men to doubt the authority of the 
church, and to demand freedom of thought. A little inci- 
dent brought every cause of difficulty to a focus. 

Luther's Attack on Indulgences. — ^In 1517, there came 
into Saxony one Tetzel, a Dominican friar, selling indul- 
gences. The wickedness and impudence of this man, who 
was better fitted to receive than dispense pardon for sin, 
aroused general indignation. This feeling found vent when 
Martin Luther,* a professor in the University at Wittenberg, 

* Martin Lnther was born at Eisleben, 1483 ; died, 1546. " My father," said the 
reformer, " was a poor wood-cutter, and my mother has often carried wood on her 
bacli to get means for raising her children." Martin was brought up very strictly ; 
once at school he was flogged fifteen times during a single forenoon. At fifteen, he 
became a " wandering scholar " in Eisenach, earning his bread, after the custom of the 
day, by singing in the streets. His diligence and studiousness, as weil as his sweet 
voice, won him friends, and, finally, his father becoming able to aid him, Martin fin- 
ished his education at the University of Erfurt. The reading of a Bible, then a rare 
book and hence chained to the desk in the library, awakened his thought, and, against 
his father's wish, he entered an Augustine monastery. In 1508, he was appointed 
professor in the University at Wittenberg, just founded by the Elector Frederick ; in 
1510, going to Rome on business for his order, he saw so much of the wickedness of the 
priesthood in that time of deep spiritual darkness that he returned home bent upon 
reform. Toward the town where this zealous,